Archive | August, 2010

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2005 Armanda Passos House

Posted on 31 August 2010 by Alvaro



The Armanda Passos House
Álvaro Siza

0073437-381_425x425The Interiorized House

Amidst horizontal and vertical planes conditioned by the contours of the terrain, memories of Zen gardens and fire signs, the Armanda Passos house has gently risen – the most recent project by Álvaro Siza in Porto.

Designed to be lived in at all hours of the day, when light seeks out shade, and shade opens itself to the light, the house-atelier, commissioned by painter Armanda Passos from the most international name in Portuguese architecture, allows the complicity naturally created by the architect with his work to transpire at each step. This is the second dwelling designed by Siza in Porto. The first was built in the 1960’s on the Avenida dos Combatentes. Between project and construction, via the city council approval process, three years passed (2002-2005). The project included the demolition of the existing house and the construction of three volumes, interlinked and joined in a way that defines two patio-gardens, interspersed by existing trees. There is even a wide garden between the border wall of the avenue’s pavement and the front of the building. Additional trees were planted. It is claimed that they establish a bridge between East and West. In an interview with Arquitectura & Construção, Álvaro Siza discusses the completed project:

The Armanda Passos house was built for a friend…
Now she is, at the time we did not have such a close friendship. Afterwards we did, because the building of a home is a great story.

How did you face the challenge?
She is sensitive person with a great attachment to the house and I created, in a special way, not only comfort but also the whole aspect of association with the garden, intimacy, quality of light, etc. It is very pleasing for an architect to have a client that has these requirements in terms of quality.

What about the project?

The project assigned to me includes a residential part with a multifunctional living room that can be projected/extended from a stage that can be raised to varying elevations. The residence and the multifunctional living room are interconnected by a transitional space: an atrium. After that there is an atelier with Northern exposure.

The roof of the atelier has two gradients like in old factories and warehouses, which give it a special light….

Exactly. The so-called shade? It has a high, northern light.

In the interior, you experimented a lot with different volumes…

The ground area is small and I wanted to take as much advantage of the garden as possible in order to avoid creating an isolated mass. As there were three functionally well-defined parts to the project, two of which were connected and one which could function independently, I used this to organise the patios. There is a patio between the multifunctional living room and the residence to the west; there is another next to the driveway; and there is a space in front of the multifunctional living room, between it and a transitional wall that stands between the street and the front of the house. So there are three quite differentiated spaces.

The house is slightly lower than its neighbours. Was this intentional?
All of the neighbouring houses have two floors. In this one, the part most visible from the street is only one storey, though it is taller than average. It is intentional because it was possible to connect the three volumes and thus create patios on all three sides. The two-storey volume and the taller volume, because of the shades, are in the back. The fact that there is an open space in front and on the two sides allowed for the planting of trees and the creation of a certain intimacy in the exterior areas of the lot. As the neighbouring houses are two-storey, if this one were as well, it would feel narrow. In this way, a sensation of generous, roomy interior space is possible.

At the same time, the house contains elements characteristic of the 1950’s –such as the brises-soleil- as well as presenting an eastern spirit. There’s an understanding here between East and West…
There is no doubt that in traditional Japanese architecture –as beautiful as it is- there is this concern. An articulation exists that organizes well-defined exterior spaces –the patios- and allows for quite significant communication that at the same time is intimate with the interior. The famous Zen gardens of Osaka are articulate constructions that connect and depart from the geometric spaces where they create marvellous garden compositions. In this case, the way in which the garden is laid out is not related to the Zen gardens, but a feeling of intimacy exists. As the house does not contain too much glass, it benefits from the communication between the interior and exterior in the large windows that frame these exterior spaces.

The brises-soleil repel the light and cast a shadow on the ground like an architectural memory. The gutters also mark the limits of the brises-soleil on the ground.
The brises-soleil are there to provide protection from the sun and the heat and also create a transition between the interior and exterior.

At a certain point, the volumes almost touch at certain angles…
Yes. The bodies of the atelier together with the veranda and the residence’s brise-soleil almost touch. They are three well-defined structures, but are intended to form a whole. Hence the proximity of elements of one structure with another to establish transitional spaces and unify the ensemble.

There are details that are almost indicative of elements. One recalls an outline of the veranda that functions like an arrow pointing out a tree or a detail of the wall. Thus, the architecture itself follows a path…
It follows the treatment of the garden. The areas where the trees and bushes are planted are based on providing solar protection. For example, the west-facing multifunctional living room window has a brise-soleil. First of all, because the brise-soleil protects the window from the south when the sun is high in the sky. When the sun is low, it doesn’t help so much. Other systems have to be used, like the brise-soleil. When the sun sets, even the neighbouring house provides significant protection. Where the sun could enter diagonally and create discomfort during the summer, an evergreen tree was planted. Next to the window sash of the large window on the western side of the multifunctional living room, there is a deciduous tree because in the winter the house is more comfortable with direct sunlight. During the warm season the house is shaded.

Is it a four-season home?
Yes, it is. These are elementary things that both spontaneous and erudite architecture have always used in the mutual relationship between nature and man-made construction.

At the top of the stairs, the light that enters through the skylight signals the steps as if showing the way. It is a repeating gesture…

I don’t really like violent light and curtains are necessary, but I also like it when a house can stand completely open, when there are transparencies. Controlling light is not only done through curtains, but also through brises-soleil which break the intensity of the light and the location and orientation of the windows themselves, the end goal being thermal comfort. Metering light intensity was something that old houses did, particularly those in the south, of Arab tradition. Patios with very intense light, porticos that create a transition to the interior, then more broken light and even shady areas –they are necessary for comfort.

Your houses have this tradition…
I don’t recall having designed an entirely glass house. Not only because of comfort and to not have to resort to mechanical means, but because I think a house needs to contain different environments. Some are more relaxing and serene, others are more extroverted. A house is made up of these variations. It is apparently simple because many things take place inside a home.

In the interior of the atelier, the light from the shades almost give one a sense of looking through the windows of a cathedral with a rising light….
The intention was not to create a religious environment, but, as the house belongs to a painter, special care is needed with the light in order to create good conditions for painting as well as maintenance. Not too long ago, Armanda Passos contacted me, because, although the shades face north, in the summer there is an hour when the sun enters. Not only can it be bothersome, it can damage the paintings, and therefore we are going to install outdoor blinds so that during these few days, the rays are blocked.

The atelier’s windows give the illusion that they can be pulled down. Almost opening the entire sky…
That doesn’t happen in this case. The windows run all the way to the floor, but they have panes that open. The larger parts are sliding doors and in certain cases move as one piece. There is no crossbar. It is an entire piece of glass that runs inside the wall.

In general, the window and door planes are well defined. Some open broadly, others narrowly. As if you were playing with the volumes in a harmonic game…
It’s a game that requires great effort [laughs], but there is a dimension of pleasure in this effort because the possibility of working for someone who asks for and demands quality is not frequent –whether it is a public or private work.

Everything has been geared toward the client…
Yes, she was extremely demanding with regards to the quality of the construction –which is very good. It’s not enough for the architect to demand quality in construction. The person paying for the building who demands quality has a different impact. Often, who’s paying is not so interested in quality. This demand for quality is considered to be the whim of an annoying architect.

Do the lateral walls that separate the house from its neighbours have different heights for security?
Yes. The walls were utilised. On one of the sides the wall was raised and the neighbours did not raise any problems. The other side was not even touched.

What materials were used for the house?

It’s traditional from a materials point of view. The walls and outer shell are reinforced concrete. In my experience, it is very difficult to mix materials. Any minor error during installation can lead to the appearance of cracks. All of the houses I’ve done in reinforced concrete are in excellent shape. Even the one I did in the 1960’s is concrete and it has never had any problems with cracks, moisture, etc. The supporting wall is in reinforced concrete that is duplicated outside with a wall in stuccoed brick. Between the two is a ventilation space containing thermal isolation material. This means the wall is 45cm thick, including inner and outer stucco. The advantages are the isolation. On the exterior, besides the stucco, there is a granite groove to guard against ground moisture. Most of the periphery contains a coarse gravel band with a drain underneath, precisely so moisture does not affect the stucco.

And with regard to the wood used?
All the wood is painted, the interior and exterior frames, except for the flooring, which is of restored old Scots pine, and the stairs. In areas with water, marble was installed. The kitchen was especially designed for the house, although today it is in production at the factory that built it. Countertops are in marble. The rest is lacquered wood.

Are the window frames made of wood?
Yes. The outer part has an aluminium panel that holds the glass in place and also protects the paint. It’s Iroko wood, treated so that it can handle the paint.

What are the roofing materials?
Earth and vegetation. It is a flat roof in waterproofed concrete and immediately on top is a 40cm layer of soil for the grass.

And the roof of the atelier?
It’s covered with zinc.

The shades provide a very large movement to the entire roof…
Yes, they increase slightly from front to back so that it gently conforms with the street. The house almost goes unnoticed. The recessed part contains two floors. The atelier has higher ceilings because Armanda builds large canvases and really needs the space and breathing room. All of this takes place in the back, cut off by the trees. So, it’s not an exhibitionistic house. It’s more interiorized.

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1998 Álvaro Siza Vieira´s Architectural Office

Posted on 30 August 2010 by Alvaro


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aleixo2Architectural Office
Rua do Aleixo 53, 2º
Porto
Portugal

Alvaro Siza Vieira 1998

The office of Alvaro Siza is located in a five-story building overlooking the Douro River in Porto, between the historical center and the Atlantic ocean. In the 19th century this was a small fishing village on the outskirts of the city, and in many ways the place still retains its character, with boats moored in the harbor, fish being sold on the streets, and a ferry crossing the river every few minutes to the neighboring village of Afurada.

In plan, the building is a U-shape, opening to the south. It occupies the center of the lot and maintains the setbacks required by local building codes. The first floor, which was initially intended for commercial purposes, is partially underground and covers almost the entire site. It receives light and ventilation from Rua do Aleixo and via two patios which are at the same level as the interior spaces. The service facilities and the stairs, which provide access to all levels and a roof terrace, are located on the northern side of the building.

Siza shares the Aleixo office building with several other architects, who also contributed to its design. The basement floor has been partially given over to the archive, while the terrace was intended to house a cafe. Each floor, with space for 25 or 30 people, is occupied by either one or two offices, and apparently the somewhat random configuration of window openings is a result of each of the architect’s needs. The1.30 x 1.80m pivoting windows, sheltered on the eastern facade by horizontal concrete awnings, provide carefully framed views of the surrounding landscape - the steep hillside to the east, the river Douro and the old city center beyond. The soft light produced in the interior, the constant presence of water, and the building’s dominant position in the neighborhood, which helps to cut out the noise of people and traffic below, create a peaceful working atmosphere in the office.

The building structure is in reinforced concrete, its outer walls covered with polystyrene foam insulation and treated with an application of ash-colored stucco. The materials in the interior include white stucco, wood furniture and window frames, linoleum flooring, and marble floors and tile in the wet areas and stairwell.

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1997 Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

Posted on 29 August 2010 by Alvaro


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serralves3Rua D.João de Castro 210
Porto
Portugal

Alvaro Siza 1997

The new Museum of Contemporary Art is in the Quinta de Serralves, a property comprising a large house surrounded by gardens, woods and meadows, commissioned in the 1930s to serve as a private residence and later used as an exhibition space. The museum develops a new nucleus on the grounds of an existing orchard and vegetable garden, which have now been transplanted to another area of the property, and absorbs most of the functions previously performed by the main house. The site at the edge of the garden and near an existing boundary wall was chosen due to the proximity of the main avenue, ensuring easy public access, and the absence of large trees, which otherwise would have had to be destroyed.

A roughly north-south longitudinal axis serves as the framework for the project. Two asymmetrical wings branch off to the south from the main body of the museum, creating a courtyard between them, while another courtyard is formed at the northern end between the L-shaped volume of the auditorium and the public entrance atrium.

The volume of the main building is divided between exhibition spaces, offices and storage, an art library and a restaurant with adjoining terrace. The auditorium and bookstore have independent entrances and may be used when the museum itself is closed. The exhibition area is composed of several rooms, connected by a large U-shaped gallery - it occupies most of the entrance level, extending to the lower floor in one of the wings. The large doors that separate the different exhibition spaces and partition walls can be used to create different routes or organize separate exhibitions simultaneously. These spaces are ventilated through horizontal openings in the false walls, while natural light is brought in through a series of skylights above suspended ceilings.

As in most of Siza’s buildings, the furniture and fittings were also designed by the architect, including lighting fixtures, handrails, doorknobs, and signage. Materials include hardwood floors and painted walls in gesso with marble skirting in the exhibition halls, and marble floors in the foyers and wet spaces. Exterior walls are covered with stone or stucco. These abstract and mute white walls with occasional openings, which frame unexpected views of the garden, create a minimal intrusion into the landscape, while the granite-clad base follows the variations of the ground along a slope descending by several meters from north to south.

A landscaping project is currently being completed which creates a variety of new gardens in the immediate vicinity of the museum that blend into the existing park zone and help to graft the new construction to its natural surroundings.

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1994 Casa Vieira de Castro

Posted on 28 August 2010 by Alvaro


vieiracastroCasa Vieira de Castro perches halfway up at the southwestern end of a hill that overlooks the town of Vila Nova de Famalicao in Portugal. Previously intended as a sanatorium, the site has since been acquired by a local industrialist, who commissioned architect Alvaro Siza into developing it. The site now consists of a caretaker’s house, a two-storey family house and a swimming pool with a terraced garden. Recalling the traditional quinta, the Casa Vieira de Castro brims full of personal and regional identity, an architectural design that is truly trademark Siza.

Design of a house in northern Portugal makes use of existing groundworks on a site overlooking the local town.

Casa Vieira de Castro, by Alvaro Siza Arquitecto, is at the southwestern end of a terrace built halfway up the precipitous slope of a hill. It overlooks the industrial town of Vila Nova de Famalicao in northern Portugal, which lies about 18km south-west of Braga and has a history of watchmaking. The terrain is rocky and, with a relatively high rainfall in this part of the country, green with pine and oak. From this vantage there are southerly views over an immense landscape; conversely from the valley, the house can be seen from far away, an abstract form etched sharp and white against the forest.

The site, with an old house at the north-eastern end, had been destined for a sanatorium. When acquired by the client, who is a local industrialist, it contained only the foundations and plinth of the unbuilt sanatorium and a wide flight of shallow stone steps.

Development of the site was in three phases. The first task was to restore the old building, and convert it into a caretaker’s house. The second phase provided a two-storey family house for the client, built upon the existing plinth. The third, still to be completed, consists of constructing a swimming pool and creating a terraced garden out of land cleared of forest. Formal entrance to the estate is from the east, where you pass the caretaker’s house before ascending the steps. Service access and garaging is on the west.

In general the Portuguese have a strong sense of their own culture. For Siza the house is a repository of personal and regional identity, and bastion against the forces that try to render the world more uniform and impersonal.(1) Though couched in abstract form, the architecture of this house, like Siza’s other works, acknowledges tradition. The essential dignity of the building, deriving from proportion, composition and massing of its parts, and the way it is visibly set apart on the hillside, with a commanding view of the town, recalls the traditional quinta.

But it is the physical nature of the place with its stupendous prospect that is plainly at the heart of the design. The back of the house gives onto the sheltering belt of trees while the south is faceted and at almost every turn the interior is open to the landscape.

Seen from the west, the sequence of stepped and cut out volumes look to be carved from a single solid. This is partly because of the constant height of the building and uniformly white walls, and partly because the openings are relatively modest - as they are in traditional Portuguese houses. So white planes dominate. Approached from the east, where cut-outs are larger and volumes interleaved, the house has a less solid appearance. Projections and indentations of the plan at upper and lower levels have produced a fragment of a colonnade on the ground floor and first floor terraces like eyries.

Inside the kinetic envelope, the interior is conventionally and very comfortably arranged with the living quarters on the ground floor and four bedrooms above. Each of these has a bathroom and gives onto a terrace. Siza is in the process of designing the furniture throughout the house.

The further you get from the moderating influence of the Atlantic, the more severe the winters, and open fires are traditionally common in the region. On the ground floor, the massive form of a fireplace, handsomely lined with white marble and an architectural element in its own right, creates separation between double-height hall and dining room. and between hall and living room (for otherwise the spaces simply flow into one another).

The living room, which strikes you as a vessel of light, stretches eastwards from the fireplace towards the pool. It is illuminated along its considerable south-facing length by a narrow strip of sliding windows, the south light partly diffused by the colonnade. At the eastern end, big glass panels, set at a slight angle to the pool, allow you to look down the length of the terrace.

Finishes and materials are spartan: white walls hover above gleaming oak floors, with pale Portuguese marble being used for bathroom and kitchen floors and on walls. Internally, doors and window frames, simply designed, are wooden; externally openings are framed in painted metal or wood with door and window cills in marble. But the manner in which light and shadow have been treated as an almost tangible component of the architecture transforms mere austerity, giving edge and surface to form, and imbuing this house with a sense of spiritual enlightenment.

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2008 Ibere Camargo Foundation

Posted on 27 August 2010 by Alvaro


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New Iberê Camargo Foundation headquarters open its doors

4The new building of the Iberê Camargo Foundation is sited in a narrow plot, nearby the Guaíba River. The museum is mainly defined by its vertical volume where the exhibition rooms are located, from which are raised suspended, undulating arms in white concrete – somewhat resonant of the iconic concrete reveries of Lina Bo Bardi. This is the first project by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza built in Brazilian territory and was honoured by the Venice Architecture Biennale with the Golden Lion award in 2002.

A large exhibit of work by the painter Iberê Camargo, displayed in the building’s nine art galleries, marks Porto Alegre’s inauguration of the first project by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza in Brazil

The Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza returned to Porto Alegre on the beginning of this year for one of his final visits to his first building designed in Brazil, which will house more than half a century’s output of paintings, drawings, gouaches and prints by Iberê Camargo, who is considered to be one of Brazil’s most important artists of the 20th century.

The architect was in the state capital to concern himself in the final details of the project, such as the development and production of the building’s furnishings, which he has also designed. The Portuguese architect is meticulous about every detail of the building, believing that harmony is fundamental in a work. “Although each detail is important, the governing feature is the totality. Equilibrium is the underlying quality for architecture,” he says.

The new Iberê Camargo Foundation headquarters opens in the end of may and is intended to preserve the collection of more than four thousand works by the master of Brazilian expressionism and to be a major center for discussion, research and exhibition of modern and contemporary art, placing Porto Alegre and Brazil on the route of the world’s major centers of culture.

In 2002, The project won the biggest international architecture prize – The Golden Lion Award – at the 2003 Venice Architecture Biennial. The maquette toured to the main state capitals in Brazil, together with a touring exhibition of Iberê’s work in 2003 -2004. It has also been to the Milan Triennale at the Museum of Fine Art in Bordeaux, and is included in a touring exhibition of Álvaro Siza’s work which is traveling the world.

Construction budget of the new headquarters for the Iberê Camargo Foundation, whose president is Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, is 30 million reais. Building started in July 2003 on a 8,250-m2 site facing the Guaíba (Av. Padre Cacique 2,000 donated by the city council and sponsored by Grupo Gerdau, Petrobras, RGE, Vonpar, Itaú, De Lage Landen and Instituto Camargo Correa. RGE, Grupo Gerdau, Petrobras, Camargo Correa, De Lage Landen and Vonpar. Building is following a precise schedule, which concludes with the opening of the headquarters, forecast for November 2007, and a major exhibition of the painter, who is recognized as one of the major Brazilian artists of the 20th century.

The building will put Porto Alegre on the map of important centers of modern and contemporary art in the country. It has nine exhibition rooms, spread across the three upper floors. The main access level will house the reception, café, cloakrooms, cultural shop and a massive atrium which will provide views of the upper floors and will also be used for exhibitions.

The basement area contains all the building infrastructure, including parking for 100 vehicles, a 125-seater auditorium with cinema facilities, Iberê’s print studio and rooms for courses and workshops. It will also contain a reference, research and information center for the huge collection of 4,000 of the artist’s works, with a specialized library, database, video library and reading room, intended for national and international researchers and publishing work.

The basement also contains the utilities area and the technical reserve, used for housing the air-conditioning system and the sewer treatment network. Access to the car park is through an underpass beneath Avenida Padre Cacique, connecting both sides of the road to facilitate visitor entry and exit. All the entrances to the new Iberê Camargo Foundation headquarters also meet the requirements of people with special needs. Ramps and elevators have been designed to offer ease of access from garage level upwards.

Innovative technology and ecological trails

The building for the new Iberê Camargo Foundation headquarters is an international landmark in architecture and engineering solutions. One of the design’s innovative features is its reinforced-concrete construction throughout, without the use of bricks or sealing elements, forming curved outlines like a great sculpture to feature the form and movement of the ramps built on all floors. It is the only building in the country to be built entirely from white concrete, which dispenses with painting and finishing and also brings it a feeling of lightness. All the power and service ducts are inside the walls, insulated with fiberglass, allowing the installation of permanent or temporary dimmable sockets and lighting anywhere in the rooms.

Indoor temperature and humidity are managed by an intelligent monitoring control to ensure protection of the collection. The air-conditioning system will produce ice at night, when electricity costs are lower, for cooling the space during the day, reducing operational costs.

The design devotes special attention to the environment. A sewage treatment station will treat all the solid and liquid waste on site. The treated water from this process will be used for irrigating the surrounding green space. In partnership with the Gaia Foundation, special care is being given to the 16,000-m2 native forest behind the building. A 200-meter path has been defined in the forest to allow visitors to link art with nature.

Álvaro Siza, an international reference

Álvaro Siza is one of the most important contemporary architects in the world, with work in several different countries. His designs include the Museu Serralves in Oporto, and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, in Santiago de Compostela. The new Iberê Camargo Foundation Headquarters will be his first project in Brazil. Siza was chosen after consultation which considered the innovative nature of the architectural plan and the international standing of its architect.

The architect is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and Honorary Fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects, the Academie d´Architecture de France and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He won the Pritzker Award, from the Hyatt Foundation in Chicago, considered the Nobel of the arts, in 1992, for his oeuvre. Siza has played an active role in the most important architectural works in the world, including the Barcelona Olympiad and Expo 98 in Lisbon. He was part of the team that restored the Chiado, the old part of Lisbon attacked by fire.

More about the project

The project won the biggest international architecture prize – The Golden Lion Award – at the 2003 Venice Architecture Biennial. The maquette toured to the main state capitals in Brazil, together with a touring exhibition of Iberê’s work in 2003 -2004. It has also been to the Milan Triennale at the Museum of Fine Art in Bordeaux, and is included in a touring exhibition of Álvaro Siza’s work which is traveling the world.

30,000 cubic meters of earth were excavated and donated to the Municipal Highway Works Department (SMOV) to be used for paving the city’s poorer settlements.

Excavation was carried out without using explosives. In partnership with the a Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), a splitting plan was found in which the rocks were broken down, allowing them to be removed with pneumatic equipment. This enabled the builder, Camargo Corrêa to complete the predicted 12-month process of earth removal four months early.

There has been considerable concern with the surroundings since the start, and the Iberê Camargo Foundation has therefore proposed to correct the distorted bend in the Avenida Padre Cacique to increase road safety near the site.

Construction is generating 100 direct and 200 indirect jobs.

The project has been visited by more than 3000 architecture and engineering students from the whole country.

The building saves 30% to 40% more energy than conventional buildings.

Chronology:

1995 – Creation of the Iberê Camargo Foundation

1996 – SIte for building the new Foundation headquarters donated by the Rio Grande do Sul government

1998/June – Selection of the architect

2000/May – First site visit by the architect, Álvaro Siza

2001/November – Approval of viability study by Porto Alegre City Council

2002/June – Laying the Foundation Stone

2002/September – Design wins the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Architecture Biennial

2003/July- Building commences

- Sponsorship signed with Camargo Corrêa

2003/December – Sponsorship signed with Petrobras

2004/February – Sponsorship signed with Vonpar

2004/March – Sponsorship signed with RGE

2004/December – Conclusion of Phase 1 – Underground Area

2005/Outubro – Conclusion of Phase 2 – Concrete Structure

2 half of 2007 – Conclusion of Phase 3  and inauguration - Finishing, thermal insulation, electrical, plumbing and complementary installations, decoration and furnishing

1 half of 2008 – Finishing and furnishing

Construction phases:

Phase 1 (basement): Infrastructure: car park, auditorium, print studio, rooms for courses and workshops, documentation and research center, utilities area and technical reserve.

Phase 2: nine exhibition rooms, atrium, reception, café, cloakroom, cultural shop

Phase 3 (final): Finishing, thermal insulation electrical, plumbing and complementary installations, decoration and furnishing

Inauguration:  End of may 2008

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2005 Sports Center Llobregat

Posted on 26 August 2010 by Alvaro


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piscinadecornellacfernand_530x353Alvaro Siza’s world-class sports centre in Barcelona is a model of urban planning.

The new Llobregat Sports Centre in the Barcelona suburb of Cornella is an example of what could be achieved. Designed by Alvaro Siza, the 40,000sq m sports centre is part of a larger sports park development which will include a new stadium for Barcelona’s “other” football club, Espanyol. The site was a flat rectangle of empty land between the dense streets of the post-war suburb to the north and Barcelona’s ring road to the south. Access roads separate it from a school to the west and playing fields to the east.

The building is set back from the built-up urban edge and made up of a distinct group of large interlocking volumes of white concrete which express the primary programmes within: a rectangular box for the 2,500-seat sports hall, an oval drum for the swimming pool and a long bar for the ancillary facilities. From a distance the ridge of hills that keeps Barcelona’s sprawling suburbs pressed against the sea and gives the city much of its topographical character emerge above the buildings. The scarred concrete profile of the sports hall fits effortlessly into the tableau with the line of tree-covered outcrops on the horizon.

Two ramps, each the size of a town square, rise up from the car park and meet at an entrance 4m above the ground. The stilted curves and monolithic materiality of the sports hall disassociate it from other big out-of-town sheds and evoke memories of landforms, while the ramps imply that you have to climb some pre-existing terrain before you can enter the building. These gestures begin to detach you from the reality of the building’s lacklustre surroundings, a process that continues inside to become the main ordering force of the building.

The detailing is sparse, almost nonexistent. The walls are in-situ concrete cast with not quite square panels of smooth formwork. Siza specified that the finished concrete should not be made good in any way so there are already streaks of staining and a patchwork effect where the concrete has cured differently behind each board.

Moving inside, you enter an amazing space 100m long, L-shaped in section. The scale is intimate and you are suddenly aware of subtle differences between being here or there in the larger volume. The interior is precisely formed around human movement and perception.

The circulation area is stark but beautifully lit by precisely positioned openings. Once away from the entrance there are no views back out except at the far end where you are offered a glimpse of the outdoor pool below. Two skylights cut into the ceiling and fill the southern end with a soft glow, drawing you down towards the swimming pool entrance and introducing an other-worldly element to the architectural promenade. Later, when you head back to the entrance to leave, a high-level window frames a view of the rooftops of Cornella as if to wake you gently and remind you to where you are about to return.

Deep thresholds separate the sports hall and swimming pool from the circulation space. At the swimming pool entrance, instead of just a row of doors, a kind of anti-space has been made with two curving walls, not as a distinct room but as a distortion of the circulation space, as if the space itself has been morphed around. An event such as this looks naive on a plan but the reality of the experience only induces awe at Siza’s masterful judgment of precisely where to introduce light, how much to curve a wall, when to step a ceiling.

The poor swimmers and athletes miss most of this and descend a staircase behind the reception desk to the changing rooms below via a more conventional long corridor. Above the circulation area the exercise rooms are arranged in a line and all are naturally lit by conventional windows, skylights or borrowed light from the circulation space. Their ceilings are sculpted with plasterboard to hide artificial light sources.

Siza’s ubiquitous tool, the dado, appears inside the building, although in a less playful mood than usual, and in grey paint rather than stone. It has a constant level in each space and is the same colour as the floor, as if the room has been filled with paint to a given level and then drained. The level varies slightly between spaces to fine-tune the visual perception of each space.

The sports hall roof is a space-frame, the only expressed structure anywhere in the building. The swimming pool by contrast has a shallow elliptical concrete dome roof with 62 circular rooflights. When the sun shines, spots of sunlight reflect off the water and walls like a glitterball in a 1950s dance hall. A ramp descends around one side of the ellipse for spectators to watch events in the pool.

On the ramp, your eye level is roughly at mid-height in the space so the spots of light on the water mirror the rooflights above, like in Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion where the ceiling height is set so that the eye is at mid-height, setting up a horizontal symmetry that works with the reflective materials to dissolve spatial boundaries. The same idea recurs in several places, in the sports hall where you enter at the top of the seating rake and in the circulation corridor where the ceiling height drops near the pool entrance.

The indoor and outdoor pools are linked in an irregular-shaped plan, like a rubber duck, a similarity I wouldn’t be surprised to learn was intentional. Where they join, glass doors can be dropped down from inside the wall like a portcullis to separate them. The curving edge flows through like a meandering river.

Outside, you discover a hidden oasis of curving forms. The pool’s edges swerve and turn while the water reflects the arching sports hall roof and the clouds overhead.

An arc of wall and roof close the pool area off to the south and provide a crescent of shade from the summer sun. The scale of the arc increases as it sweeps up and round to meet the drum of the indoor pool.

At one end of the canopy, where the cantilevered roof is at its widest, a support has been inserted. Instead of a simple column, a slender cylindrical shaft emerges from a more massive abstract volume just like Le Corbusier’s column in the east porch at Ronchamp, a typical Siza mannerist reinterpretation from the modern architectural library. To point out such an obvious quote is to fall into his trap, deliberately daring you to doubt his ability and simultaneously exhibiting his effortless handling of form, meaning and memory.

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by Vittorio Gregotti

Posted on 25 August 2010 by Alvaro

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…by
Vittorio Gregotti
Architect, Professor of Architecture, University of Venice, Italy

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.

Later on, those signs come together because they convey a feeling of growing out of something necessary, of relating, connecting, establishing and constructing, all the while maintaining the tender uncertainty of hypothesis and discovery.
The construction is slow and intense. It is made of the discrete, if not downright secret, signs of an attempt to start anew, based on establishing some creative and apparently simple and explicit signs of an universal design system.

Siza’s work is characterized by just that sense of architecture as a means of listening to the real, in that it hides at least as much as it shows. Siza’s architecture makes one see, and it reveals rather than interprets the truth of the context.

It seems then, that he has very carefully removed parts from the design, which is very clearly and harmoniously drawn, in order to create expectations. All non-essentials have been removed, but even that, in turn, has left its traces, like when pencil strokes are erased and redrawn in a drawing. Sharp corners and sinewy curves are interwoven for an apparently mysterious reason, something that has to do with the very history of the design. Its thoughts, misfortunes and changes are not totally forgotten, but are transformed in the construction of a mental site, of a context just as real as the surrounding physical one.

Alvaro Siza Vieira is clearly considered one of today’s greatest living architects. He is an architect still able to make authentic affirmations with his architecture, still able to surprise a culture as blase as ours by coming on stage from unexpected quarters.

The interest in his architecture shown by younger generations in particular results from the complex mixture of meanings that emanates from his work. His architecture is formed in quiet and seclusion; then there is the slight but ever precise touch of his works, which seem to emerge as clean, precious points among the contemporary urban blight, yet at the same time making one painfully responsible for those problems. In addition to this mixture and the tradition of poverty and the gentle melancholy of Portugal, his native country, there is the affection that his architecture seems to bring to the conditions of the urban periphery.

On the other hand, the micro surgical confidence of his work, the emergence of the extreme eternity of the elementary acts of building, the sense of natural modification of that which exists, a suspended modification does not erase the errors of the existing nor the uncertain course of the project, but solidifies it into a single poetic objective.

Over the years, all of that has made him become more secure in the methods and processes of his craft without eliminating his sense of trepidation, of attempting to have his designs express the margins of an architectural problem, when he checks with his hands and eyes.

The quality of the tensions which he draws up and details is touching (to use a word out of fashion like him) and derives principally, in my opinion, from two themes: attention and uneasiness; the clear certainty which is that the essential is always a little different from the directions chosen, and from possible explanations.

For Siza, even detail is not an incident or a technological exhibition, but a dimension of the accessibility of architecture, a way of verifying by touch the feel, the uniqueness of a thing made for a particular place with contemporary techniques, to come into contact with the everyday things by handling them. His is a technology of detail created from unexpected distances between the parts which introduce a spatial tension between the smallest and most commonplace elements, for their mutual placement, superimposition and interconnectedness.

To speak about Siza’s architecture, however, one must start by admitting that it is indescribable. This is not critical or textual indescribability alone (in fact the latter would certainly be one of the best means for the purpose, perhaps in story-form), but the same inability of photography to communicate the specific sense of his work. This is also because his design includes a unique temporal dimension, resulting not only from the processes required for coming into contact with his structures, but also from his ability to establish a type of autonomous memory of the design, completely present in the final structure, built by the accumulation and purification of successive discoveries which are constituted as data of later structures. Nothing is planned in and of itself, but always in relation to belonging. Above all, for Alvaro Siza, coming from northern Portugal— stony, clear, poor and full of intimacy, where the light of the Atlantic is long and illuminates poverty in an abstract way, reveals all the harshness of surfaces, each change in the road around homes, every scrap, in a grandiose, dry and bittersweet manner.

I believe that Alvaro Siza could be justifiably considered the father of the new architectural minimalism, but a minimalism far from any abstraction or perceptive radicalism, in which the architectural sign is incision and superimposition. A timid, unequivocal, circumscribed assurance seems to characterize the forms of his new minimalism. It is careful concentration, the capacity for detailed observation and characterization. If it appears that the use of elementary structures is most indirect, it is rather a hidden, precise plot from which emerge by cancellation some signs suspended between the memory of the plot’s established order, and a new, stringent logic of external and internal relations which the system renders clearer and more evident, even in their wavering.

The first time I visited Portugal, I had met Alvaro Siza the year before in Barcelona, a little more than twenty-five years ago. Then, the next summer we spent a couple of days together in Oporto and went to see his works, many still in progress: Banco do Oporto in Oliveira and the Vila do Conde, his brother’s house, the pool at the ocean and the Quinta da Conceiçao in Matosinhos, already completed in 1965.

I remember being particularly struck by the small homes in Caxinas, a village thirty kilometers north of Oporto and home to a few hundred fishermen. For the past several years prior to that, these fishermen were renting part of their own homes to people who came to the ocean for the summer from the country’s interior. Then, that modest gesture toward tourism created the spontaneous appearance of some one-or two-story homes, often illegal. The town asked Siza to formulate a plan to regulate development. He began with a study of the features of the old and new existing facilities. It is essentially a work of the imagination, attempting to create a morphological vision from the few signs that poverty has left in the form of buildings: colors, materials, types, dimensions and rhythms.

Then, on that basis, he set up a linear-development plan of two story homes: a small set facing the sea. These homes were planned and built amid many difficulties arising from the designs. One of them calls for a small square to the north, linking the internal street with the sea; another incorporates a cafe already existing on the ground floor; the rest was regulated through a series of building codes which he thought would be followed almost spontaneously.

The extreme poverty of the project is put to good use with pride, taking advantage of any sign available, stretched between surfaces of colored plaster of the utmost simplicity, in a strong Atlantic light, with elementary gestures: putting up a wall, placing a window, opening an empty space in volume, coloring doors, beginning, ending. In an atmosphere that is hardly primitive or folkloric, the resort village at the tip of Europe on the Atlantic seems to make references to many modern European cultures.
The second time we met, resignation seemed a thing of the past. Only five days had gone by after April 28, 1974 (the date of the revolution of the carnations), when, without encountering guards or bailiffs, I entered the office of the new Minister of Public Works, my friend Nuno Portas. Seated in a pompous armchair in that grand office was Alvaro Siza. He started explaining to me the work plan of the SAAL brigades, spontaneous cooperatives of planning and building. The new political opportunity seemed to have transformed his usual patience into great energy. Then, after great hopes came disappointments.

In the meantime, however, Siza became one of the great architects of international fame. The first great acknowledgements came: the invitations to the IBA in Berlin, his win at the Venice competition (later disillusioned, which is common in Italy), his work in Holland, in Portugal at Evora and Lisbon, and in Spain at Barcelona and Malaga, where we worked together. Finally came the award from the European Community in 1986 and then the Pritzker in 1992. We met many times in various places, busily and excitedly discussing trends in architecture. Yet he never gave up his discomfort and pride of being from northern Portugal, born on the edge of Europe.

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1994 Aveiro Library

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Alvaro


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2317385468_c11a41150dCampus Universitário de Santiago
3810-193 Aveiro
Portugal

The library plays a central role in the organisation of the university campus situated on the edge of the city of Aveiro. A free-standing curving wall characterises the western façade and expresses the reinforced concrete structure of the building.

This baffle admits reflected light while a continuous horizontal cut at the third level assures (for those seated) a visual connection across the sait marshes extending to the horizon.

All electrical and air-conditioning services are integrated into the perimeter shelving system at each floor allowing the ceilings to be left uncluttered and spatially continuous with the vertical voids which traverse the interior spaces. This configuration also permits the spatial continuity of the double curvature of the ceiling at the top floor.

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1966 Leça Swimming Pools

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Alvaro

Leça Swimming Pools
Avenida da Liberdade
Leça da Palmeira
Portugal

Alvaro Siza 1966

piscina7 The project is situated along the coastal avenue, the mass of the building set below the road level to allow an uninterrupted view to the sea. The program includes two swimming pools, changing facilities and a cafe.

Because of the need to limit construction costs and to preserve the landscape, the project had to make a minimal intrusion into the existing terrain. Since a topographical survey was not available at the time, the architect spent days marking the location of the existing rock formations, to arrive at a design which would require the least blasting.

The large adults’ pool is bound by low concrete walls that extend into the sea and are complemented on three sides by the natural rock formations. The continuity of these walls with the existing topography and the level of the water in the pool which appears to be contiguous with the sea, create the illusion of a seamless transition between the man-made and natural. The children’s pool, further inland, is enclosed by a curvilinear wall on one side and sheltered from the rest of the site by massive rocks and a concrete bridge at its entrance. In a playful gesture, this bridge is set just low enough to discourage adults from passing under it.


The access to the swimming pools is by way of a pedestrian ramp, which leads down from the coastal highway. The visitor descends gradually, simultaneously losing sight of the horizon, into a maze of concrete walls, platforms and canopies of the shower stalls and changing facilities building. After passing through its long corridors, partially screened by the cabinet partitions, a path along a high wall leads back into the Atlantic light, but the water still remains hidden from view. A subtle play on the senses, this element seems to slice the landscape in two, leaving only sky visible above and the sea audible beyond. The composition of these elements as building proper is understood only from the perspective of the swimming pools, since from the road they appear as an abstract figure, a series of carvings into the landscape.

Many of the materials of the swimming complex had already been used by Siza at Boa Nova and in other early projects, but here they achieve an unusual level of homogeneity: the rough concrete, of a slightly cooler hue than the rock formations, smooth and washable concrete panels for the pavement, Riga wood carpentry, and green copper roofs, which seen from the coastal avenue attain a color similar to the pools.

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by The New York Times

Posted on 21 August 2010 by Alvaro

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Siza The Modernist Master

Modernist Master’s Deceptively Simple World
[Nicolai Ouroussoff. The New York Times, August 5, 2007]

It’s unlikely that the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira will ever enjoy the fame of, say, a Rem Koolhaas or a Frank Gehry, architects who have vaulted to international attention by demolishing accepted orthodoxies.

For one thing Mr. Álvaro Siza Vieira rarely builds outside Europe, while his celebrity counterparts shuttle around the globe. He has spent his career quietly working on the fringes of the international architecture scene. He dislikes long plane flights, mostly because of a decades-long smoking habit and recent back problems. And he still seems most at ease in Porto, Portugal, his native city, where he can often be found sketching in a local cafe with a pack of cigarettes within easy reach.

Yet over the last five decades Mr. Álvaro Siza Vieira, now 74, has steadily assembled a body of work that ranks him among the greatest architects of his generation, and his creative voice has never seemed more relevant than now. His reputation is likely to receive a boost from his museum here for the Iberê Camargo Foundation, his most sculptural work to date. Its curvaceous bleached white exterior, nestled against a lush Brazilian hillside, has a vibrant sensuality that contrasts with the corporate sterility of so many museums today.

Yet to understand Mr. Álvaro Siza Vieira’s thinking fully, you must travel back to his earlier buildings. Set mostly within a few hours drive of Porto, an aging industrial hub in northern Portugal, they include a range of relatively modest projects, from public housing to churches to private houses, that tap into local traditions and the wider arc of Modernist history. The best of them are striking for a rare spirit of introspection. Their crisp forms and precise lines are contemporary yet atavistic in spirit. The surfaces retain the memory of the laborer’s hands; the walls exude a sense of gravity.

His apparent reluctance to stray too far away from home is not simply a question of temperament. It is rooted in deeply felt beliefs about architecture’s cultural role. In a profession that remains stubbornly divided between nostalgia for a saccharine nonexistent past and a blind faith in the new global economy, he neither rejects history nor ignores contemporary truths. Instead, his architecture encapsulates a society in a fragile state of evolution, one in which the threads that bind us need to be carefully preserved.

A pensive, heavyset man whose face is partly masked behind a trim beard and wire-frame glasses, Mr. Siza has the air of an Old World intellectual. Among architects his reputation began to flourish in the late 1970s and early ’80s, as Portugal and Spain were emerging from decades of isolation imposed by the rightist dictatorships of Salazar and Franco. By the mid-’80s, he had emerged as an important creative voice in Europe’s architectural milieu, with commissions that included a low-income housing complex in Berlin and an apartment and shopping complex in The Hague. In 1987 the dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, the Spanish architect José Rafael Moneo, organized the first show of Mr. Siza’s work in the United States. And he received broad attention when he captured the 1992 Pritzker Prize, his profession’s highest honor.

Mr. Siza’s projects are notable for a delicate weave of allusions to specific regions and cultural figures. In the 1950s and ’60s he worked closely with the Portuguese Modernist Fernando Távora, who instilled in him both a strong respect for the traditions of Portuguese architecture and an understanding that no creative work has real meaning unless it is anchored in the present.
“Távora was a very cultivated man,” Mr. Siza told me over dinner in Porto Alegre. “He was very interested in the traditions of Portugal. But he was interested in the continuity of that tradition, of how it could be the basis for a modern transformation not in any one architectural style. This was very important for me.”

Among Mr. Siza’s earliest works was a mesmerizing public pool complex he created in the 1960s for Leca da Palmeira, a fishing town and summer resort north of Porto. Built on a rocky site on the edge of the Atlantic, the project is hidden below an existing seawall, and is virtually invisible from the city’s peaceful seaside promenade. To reach it you descend a narrow stairway and then pass through a series of open-air changing rooms with concrete walls before emerging on the shore. The pools themselves are nothing but low, gently curved concrete barriers between the rocks, their languid forms trapping the seawater as it laps over them to create big natural swimming areas.

The rough concrete walls fit so naturally into the context of the sea wall, the rocks and the ocean that they feel as though they’ve been there for centuries. Yet by drawing the procession through the site, Mr. Siza is also able to build a sense of suspense that is only released once you finally immerse yourself on the water.

He builds on these ideas in later projects, creating clean geometric shapes that seem to have been distorted in order to fit them into their surroundings. One of his most mesmerizing buildings is a small two-story structure designed for the University of Porto’s architecture faculty that frames three sides of a small triangular courtyard. One edge of the building follows the line of an existing stone wall; another orients the viewer toward a long narrow garden on a bluff. The entrance is cut out of a back corner, giving the impression that the building cracked open as Mr. Siza strained to adapt it to the site. It’s as if the design is a kind of hinge, linking past, present and future.

Mr. Siza’s ability to evoke a powerful sense of historical time through his architecture struck me with special force a few years ago when I visited a small church complex he designed for the dusty working-class town of Marco de Canavezes, a short drive east of Porto. The beauty lies in the slow pace at which its meaning unfolds. A tall narrow building in whitewashed concrete on a steeply sloping site, it is anchored to the ground by a beige granite base. Its three sections frame a small, unadorned entrance court.

That simplicity, altogether deceptive, becomes a tool for sensitizing you to your environment. As you move through the church, for example, the smoothly polished stone floor changes to wood, allowing for an intuitive transition from the formality of the entry to the intimacy of the main worship space. Sunlight spills down through big curved scooped openings near the top of the walls in a modest nod to Le Corbusier’s chapel at Ronchamp, a masterpiece of high Modernism.

But the resonance of the building does not hit home until you proceed through the entire sequence of chambers that make up the church. A narrow passageway descends from the main worship space to a mortuary chapel. From there you step out into an arcaded courtyard with a solitary tree. Then you can climb back up a stone staircase along the church’s exterior and circle back to the front.

It’s like a measured procession from the world of the living to the world of the dead, and back again, one that only unfolds slowly overtime.

“The big thing for me is the pressure to do everything very quickly,” Mr. Siza said to me recently over drinks. “That is the problem with so much architecture. This speed is impossible. Some people think the computer is so quick, for example. But the computer does not think for you, and the time it takes us to think does not change.”

The Iberê Camargo Foundation is in many ways the ideal project for Mr. Siza. He has deep emotional ties to Brazil. His father, an electrical engineer, was born there. And Mr. Siza has always been enchanted by Brazil’s early embrace of Modernism and its tinge of hedonism.

“My father told many stories about Brazil,” he said. “When I came here the first time 20 years ago, I felt like in Portugal, but with a tropical atmosphere. More free.”

That freedom is evident in the sculptural exuberance of the museum, which is expected to open sometime next year. The building was conceived over a decade ago by a local industrialist to house the work of Iberê Camargo, a Brazilian artist revered locally for his somber figurative paintings and etchings.

As with all of Mr. Siza’s best work, the museum’s forms forge a closely calibrated architectural narrative, regulating your pace through the site. Visitors approach the entry on a narrow path set along a series of low, one-story structures that house a print shop, artists’ studios and cafe. Your eye traces the long low line of the roof, which is interrupted by a small sunken court before picking up again, setting up a gentle rhythm that draws you deeper and deeper into the site.

Once you reach the main entry court, you can turn back and catch a diagonal view across the cafe of the town center, with the slender smokestack of a former thermoelectric plant. The view locks the museum back into the cityscape, as if to remind you that art is woven into everyday life.

Most magically, cantilevered passageways curl across the front facade like an enormous hand. When you gaze up in the courtyard, it’s as if the building were embracing you.

The foundation building is still incomplete, and when I arrived, Mr. Siza was still fiddling with details. Scaffolding filled the main atrium; at one point he spent a half-hour or so discussing the position of a light fixture. You could already feel the force of the interior. In a twist on Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Mr. Siza located all the galleries around the towering central atrium. Visitors will wind through a sequence of galleries that overlook the atrium on each floor, slipping repeatedly into long fingerlike passageways to reach the next level.

Mr. Siza uses light to heighten the contrast between the galleries and the dark narrow passageways. A thin slot at the top of the atrium wall allows sunlight to wash over its white surface, enlivening the interior. Big windows frame views of the Guaíba River. By contrast the curved passageways have the aura of secret spaces. Only a single small window framing a view of the city punctures each one.

Ultimately the passageways are yet again a way of drawing out the time spent in thought, allowing us to absorb more fully what we have just experienced. In a way they are Mr. Siza’s rejoinder to the ruthless pace of global consumerism.

In that respect the building echoes projects by a sprinkling of architects who are seemingly in revolt against the psychic damage wrought by a relentless barrage of marketing images. Mr. Moneo once designed a cathedral in Los Angeles whose entry sequence was so drawn out that the journey felt like doing penance. Like Mr. Moneo, Mr. Siza seeks to prolong the architectural sequence to its furthest extreme. The question is whether the public will feel at ease in this building. How will the contemporary art lover, accustomed to constant diversions, deal with this level of silence?

“All of us have doubts about our work,” Mr. Siza said one evening after a tour of the site. “I worry I am working in a way that doesn’t conform to our times. So I wonder, should I accept more the times that I live in? But I’m not so sure that this will lead to a good answer to improve the situation of people in the world.”

Whatever his doubts, his vision of an architecture rooted in a historical continuum seems vitally important in a world fractured by political conflict and ethnic hatreds. If an earlier generation of Modernists believed that architecture could play a vital role in spurring us along the road to utopia, we now know that progress is no longer a guarantee. Almost any society, it turns out, can quickly and unexpectedly descend into darkness and savagery.

At the same time the march of global capitalism has made faith in technology, a Modernist dogma, seem less and less attractive. And if the bold and delirious forms churned out by celebrated architects today mirror social upheavals, they can also serve to camouflage the damage.

Mr. Siza’s architecture suggests a gentler, alternate path. It does not promise a better world but reminds us that the threads binding a civilized society can be rewoven. And in an age that rarely bothers to distinguish shallow novelty from true moral engagement, that is an act of courage.

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