Archive | August, 2011

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2008 Ibere Camargo Foundation

Posted on 31 August 2011 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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1997 Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

Posted on 29 August 2011 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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1998 Álvaro Siza Vieira´s Architectural Office

Posted on 28 August 2011 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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Siza Vieira awarded the Award of Plastic Arts Cristóbal Gabarrón 2010

Posted on 27 August 2011 by Alvaro

siza-award.jpgThe Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira was awarded the International Prize for Plastic Arts Foundation 2010 Gabarrón Cristobal, who wanted to distinguish ‘the teachings, the international relevance and poetic inspiration “of his work.

The jury’s award highlights the fact that Siza makes architecture “transparent and respectful of the environment where it fits,” praising its ability to develop a “poetic feeling to every building, by working with space and light.”

Proof of this highlights, is the building of the University of the Basque Country, which will be completed this year, the Meteorological Center of the Olympic Village in Barcelona (1992), the Galician Center for Contemporary Art in Santiago de Compostela (1993), the Rectorate of the University of Alicante (1997) and the Foundation Serralves (1999).

The award, which reaches it´s ninth edition this year, had 31 candidates competing in various countries.

This is the first of nine awards given annually by the foundation that also includes Performing Arts, Science and Research, Sports, Economics, Literature, Thought and Humanities, Restoration and Conservation and Human Path.

In previous years the prize was awarded to names like James Rosenquist (2002), Peter Eisenman (2003), Sir Anthony Caro (2004), Richard Serra (2005), Yoko Ono (2006), Markus Lüpertz (2007), Martín Chirino ( 2008) and Jan Fabre (2009).

More information can be found at the Fundación Cristóbal Gabarrón webiste

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2006 Anyang Pavilion

Posted on 26 August 2011 by Alvaro


final1A Pavilion in Korea

February 2005: the invitation, sudden and urgent. A small city of 300,000 inhabitants had launched a project for a cultural complex right in front of a natural park, wedged in amongst beautiful mountains. A multifunctional pavilion was needed as a complementary, but central element. Álvaro Siza’s name was mentioned and the invitation was answered, in person, in Porto.

March 2005: This was an urgent matter and I immediately went to the site, to look around, take note, and bring back the necessary bases for an architect’s work, as the theme was sober: a multifunctional space, a small, possibly multifunctional office, perhaps for the police, and toilets for those who walk the park’s paths as well as for those who remain around the square or go to the local restaurants. Jun, a Korean architect who studied abroad, interned in Porto, and who is now based in Seoul has been a friend of mine for 20 years, and was waiting for me upon arrival. Our friendship and profession would establish the necessary connection. Arriving at the site, the urgency is present, the urgency of the urgency is present, because that is the way the country is, like its people and lifestyle. There is time to decide, but after decision comes the urgency. There is great euphoria at APAP 2005 – Anyang Public Art Project 2005. Many artists and a few architects have already confirmed it. There is some concern. Can so many guests of so many nationalities comprehend the urgency? Calmly, we gather elements, take photographs, solicit detailed plans, search for documentation, search for architectural precedents, most of it destroyed in the wars, for current architecture of merit….our friends help and point things out.

The site is an open space, shorn from the mountain, a square to be created. There are already compromises, perhaps they can be coordinated, even eliminated, we shall see. Back in Porto and the West. I try to transmit the experience, way of life, flavours and foundations of the work. Siza receives, perceives, questions and interprets like no other. From the first work session, a few timid, interpretive blueprints are made. The second session, supported by a model of the site, is more approximate, form becomes form, content in search of a programme. Other sessions follow, primarily on Saturdays and Sundays. The atmosphere is excellent. Models are built, scale is increased, the blueprints require alterations of the plans, models and 3Ds. It is necessary to return to Korea and present the project to the client.

July 2005: upon arrival, we are informed that the presentation is at 4:00pm. At four o’clock the meeting begins: the mayor, necessary council members, directors and as well as technicians, local architects and guests. Brief presentation of Álvaro Siza’s work, presentation of the proposal, some translation, intelligent questions, necessity of increasing the number of toilets, nothing that prevents the formal approval of the proposal, carrying out the necessary, requested alterations. Expression of thanks for the quality of the work, but also the urgent press for time. It is time to start construction, it’s urgent, and the snow…Seven o’clock, confirmation dinner to express satisfaction with the project, its acceptance and official approval. Back home, the process, though identical, is another, as we have proceeded to the execution phase. Adaptations to small alterations in the project, to the forms, and the form to the project. The designs acquire scale, rigour, but always follow the blueprint and the blueprint follows the rigour of execution. Construction starts and the designs continue. The Net permits the exchange of information, but also allows you to see the work progress despite the distance. Despite the urgency, the pleasure at seeing the work advance forward, unrestrained by bureaucracy, provides pleasure, because ours is a different reality.

November 2005: back again for the opening of the park and to visit the construction site. An entire, rough volume of grey almost white concrete intuits the light. An exquisite execution born of urgency. The site was made for the volume and the volume rises from the site. Of the remainder of the square, little could be saved, we are left with our half. The Parque, fair of the vanities, is pleasing…; displeasing, the capacity of implementation amazes me. Very little is ok, much is of a temporary nature, even disposable. What is good will remain, time will not be merciful. Infrastructures, M & E services, finishings, materials, preparations for the next phase are discussed. In Porto, the final design is being followed up with our support almost in real time.

July 2006: back again, a great surprise, despite the exchange of photos. Entering the finished space is sublime, as is the light. Not at all static, when we move, the space sings, as Siza would say. It is introverted when required, extroverted in its perspectives, in its passages, in the volumetry of the form and materials. The client and the city respectfully ask and the pavilion takes the name of Anyang – Álvaro Siza Hall. Already in use, the inauguration is just around the corner.

Carlos Castanheira, architect.

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1999 Interview with Siza

Posted on 25 August 2011 by Alvaro

thumbnail_205
An Interview: Álvaro Siza
[Leah Kreger. Boa Nova, March 6, 1999]

Drawing

Who introduced you to drawing?

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.

Every child likes to take a pencil to make a mark. Everybody makes beautiful things when they are three, four, or five years old. Most people lose that spontaneity; I think that always happens. Some are able to win a second spontaneity. In the school, though, we were taught an opposite way to draw: to make geometric things or to make a copy of something, such as flowers. My mother helped us. She was not very good at drawing, but she helped us learn to write or read at home. I think I was a little more able to do those schematic things than my brothers.

… I had an uncle living in the house too; he was not married. He encouraged my ability to make drawings. Almost every day after dinner, which I remember very well, he took me and gave me a paper and a pencil and encouraged me to draw. He taught me to make a horse. He was not very good; he was absolutely unable to design, so he designed a very naive horse.

What was your uncle’s name?
Joaquim. He was also my father-in law. My name, also has Joaquim: Alvaro .. Joaquim. Alvaro is the name of my father. Joaquim is the name of my uncle and father-in-law. … So I began learning to make those drawings.

Catalonia

You began going to Catalonia in 1943.
My father went every year for one month. He rented a car with a driver, a big car, an American car. The family went with mother, my brothers, and sometimes my uncle Joaquim.

… With maps and books we organized the trip. We got information. I think the organizing was much more important than the trip itself! When we were studying things to see in Barcelona, I saw some photos of Gaudí buildings in a small book. They seemed to me to be sculpture.

… When I first I arrived in Barcelona, I went with one of my brothers to see Gaudí. It was evening, and I went with him to see the Sagrada Familia. It was very impressive. Barcelona was rather different than it is today; the atmosphere in the whole of Catalonia and Spain is different. It was night, with nobody in the streets, and we went there. It was dark, and I saw the Sagrada Familia! I was afraid because the atmosphere was so frightening!

…The next day or so, we saw Gaudí’s Casa Milà. I observed that sculpture had exactly the same elements as any house: doors and locks and everything as a normal house. It impressed me very much, how those normal things I knew in my house could be put together to make a different thing. That was the first time I was really was impressed by architecture. I could like my house or the others, but not in a special way, not with an aesthetic point of view.

Boa Nova Tea House Project
[The design for this restaurant] was a competition. You know the story. I was working with Tavora, and at the time to make the competition he made a trip around the world. He told us, the five collaborators, ‘I cannot do it, but you can make it’. The project entry presented the name of Tavora.

…We won the competition. Then we began to do the construction drawings. Tavora declared to us that since he had not made it, we had to make it. At that time it was possible. We worked one year and I was not happy at all because the project was bad. It was in two volumes. This [Tea Room] was elevated and the other [Dining Room] was lower. It was bad, but we had already made the construction drawings and details. One day I went home and I was thinking about this and why I didn’t like the design. I thought, ‘I don’t like it because of the two volumes’. Because already on the Site you have many volumes (gesturing to the rocks surrounding the Tea House) I said to myself that I must get a solution like this: a solution where they are on the same level. The kitchen connects the two volumes. I arrived at the office and my four colleagues and very good friends said, ‘you are crazy, this project is finished! We cannot do this!’. So we went to Tavora; Tavora was working with us again by then. They explained, ‘Siza wants to change everything, we don’t want to; the drawings are already finished ..what do you say?’ Tavora looked and said, ‘I say Siza’s is much better.’ These people were very kind because they worked until the project was completed; they did not leave.

Once, after the restaurant opened, a storm came with such force that it broke glass in windows over this beach. The sea entered the Boa Nova in the tearoom and threw all of the furniture against the back wall. The sea then moved around the room in a circular motion and broke out the opposite windows from the inside. When I arrived the next morning, the tables I designed were in the sea! The workmen fished the tables out and made them like new. The chairs in the restaurant today are the very same ones as then. The motors for the windows that lower into the floor work even better than they had before. What’s astonishing is that the men restored everything!

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