Alvaro Siza Vieira
Born on June 25, 1933, in Matosinhos, Portugal, Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira, best known as Alvaro Siza, is widely regarded as one of the world’s best contemporary architects. Siza’s projects are frequently characterized by rigorous and uncluttered forms, extreme attention to the topographic and cultural context, and the use of materials – such as bricks and ceramic, natural stone, and white plaster – strongly reminiscent of the Portuguese architect’s southern European background, though declined in a distinctly modern architectural language.
While Siza’s early works, mostly built in his home country in the 1960s, were manifestly influenced by those of Modernist architects such as Adolf Loos, Alvar Aalto, and Le Corbusier, his later projects are quite diverse and cannot be easily placed into a specific architectural style or category. The recipient of prestigious awards – including the Mies Van der Rohe Award in 1988, the Pritzker Prize in 1992, and the RIBA Gold Medal in 2009 – Alvaro Siza had also taught architecture at the Porto University for over twenty years.
Above: Alvaro Siza, photo courtesy of Vitra
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