“The Relationship between Arts” was the title of the lecture by Álvaro Siza Vieira at the opening class of the Faculty of Arts of the university of Porto.
I would like to start my discussion of the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza’s work by first considering some texts frequently cited in discussions of his projects: one by Siza himself, one by his mentor Fernando Tavora
Álvaro Siza Vieira is the greatest living Portuguese architect -perhaps the finest the country has ever produced- whose works over the years have proven to be amongst the most coherent and complete of all architectural works this century.
I have always had the impression that Alvaro Siza’s architecture sprang from archaeological foundations known to him alone—signs invisible to anyone who has not studied the site in detail through drawings with steady, focused concentration.
The work of Álvaro Siza Vieira is a paradigmatic example of a reciprocal relationship between the place and the global, probably the crucial subject for the disciplines related with the production of the space since the late sixties.
In primary school, we learned to draw in a very special way. I remember that all the students, at six years of age or so, were taught to draw such things as a closed box, then an open box.
It was, as the architect is fond of saying, “a chair that looked like a chair”. It was in fact a simple skeleton of dressed wood from which chairs have been made since time immemorial.
Alvaro Siza (born 1933) is considered Portugal’s greatest living architect and possibly the best that country has ever produced.
It’s unlikely that the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza will ever enjoy the fame of, say, a Rem Koolhaas or a Frank Gehry…