Álvaro Siza Archive


In 2014, the architect Siza Vieira decided to donate his archive, result of his professional career which he initiated in the 1950s. As one of the most famous names of global contemporary architecture, Álvaro Siza Vieira shared his archive between three institutions: the Canadian Centre of Architecture (CCA), the Serralves Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Aspects of documentary treatment, virtual accessibility and sharing are determined upon by the three institutions. The complete Álvaro Siza Archive comprises approximately 60,000 drawings, 500 models, 282 sketchbooks and born digital documents.

Siza Vieira chose 38 projects, which were donated to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, to be incorporate in the Art Library and Archive Collection. These projects include diverse documentation referring to the different phases of an architectural project: drawings and textual documentation, namely descriptive documents and correspondence, as well as models and construction processes.

Among these 38 projects are some of the most emblematic works of Siza Vieira such as the Escola Superior de Educação de Setúbal (1986-1994), the Santa Maria Church and Parish Centre, Marco de Canaveses (1990-1996), the Portuguese Pavilion for the Expo’98 and the Library of the Aveiro University (1988-1995).

Projects commissioned from the architect by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation also include the Gulbenkian Foundation’s stands at the Frankfurt (1997) and Paris (1998) Book Fairs and the Set for the Ballet Quatro Árias de Ópera, performed by the Ballet Gulbenkian (1996).

It is expected that the documentary treatment of the Álvaro Siza Archive, which involves the digitization and cataloguing of documents, will take place in 2018 and 2019. During this period these documents will not be available to the public. As the documentary treatment progresses, the projects will be made available in the Art Library Catalogue.

Of all the projects of the Álvaro Siza Archive in the Art Library and Archives Collection, three are already available to the public and accessible through the catalogue: Vieira de Castro house (1984-1991); António Carlos Siza house (1976-80); and the Renovation of the caretaker’s house – Vieira de Castro house (1984-85).

A complete list of the projects from the Álvaro Siza Archive in the Art Library and Archives is available here.

Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira, graduate of the University of Porto’s Faculty of Architecture, was born in Matosinhos (Porto), on June 25, in 1933. During his long and remarkable career, his work has been widely acclaimed.

In 1988, he was distinguished with the Gold Medal of the Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España, the Gold Medal of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, the Prince of Wales Prize for Urban Design from Harvard University and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award from the Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

Further accolades include the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1992; the Preamium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association in 1998; the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2009; and in 2012, he was awarded the Leone d’oro alla Carriera at the Biennale di Venezia.

Updated on 20 february 2018

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