Architect: Álvaro Siza

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

Dating Siza: The Malagueira ‘Cupula’

By Manuel Montenegro

The unbuilt half-dome (referred to by the architect as the ‘cupula’) at the Quinta da Malagueira is the subject of a protracted design process that has lasted for over four decades. At the start of 2020, Álvaro Siza sent a drawing of the half-dome to Drawing Matter accompanied by letter… Read More

Siza at sixteen

Siza at sixteen

By Manuel Montenegro and Álvaro Siza

Pouco a pouco, quase sem dar por isso, o carvão começou a não partir, o papel a não manchar, o miolo de pão a manter a plasticidade, o fôlego a aumentar. E a confiança. Slowly but steadily, unwittingly, the lead began to not break, paper to not stain, the bread… Read More

The Real and Imagined Worlds of Álvaro Siza

The Real and Imagined Worlds of Álvaro Siza

By Bruno Silvestre

Inside the cover of Álvaro Siza’s sketchbooks, there is a whole world: the real and the imagined. In his personal registers of the real, Siza accepts the world as it is. He uses drawing in a playful but productive way, learns when he apprehends, absorbs when drawing. This process of… Read More

Álvaro Siza: Drawn Closer

Álvaro Siza: Drawn Closer

By Álvaro Siza

I began using sketchbooks in 1977, and this is the first of them. I had been asked by the new communist mayor of Évora to plan a very large social housing development – Quinta da Malagueira – as an extension of the medieval city on an abandoned agricultural estate. Until… Read More

Houses of Work and Play

Houses of Work and Play

By Patrick Lynch

The Faculty of Architecture at the University of Porto (FAUP), designed by Álvaro Siza, is set on a hillside, close to a road bridge at the mouth of the river Douro. The bridge seems to be part of the extended composition of the campus; the school-city a gateway to the… Read More

Espelho Álvaro

Espelho Álvaro

By Mário Botta

This mirror was among the objects, sketches and photographs at his great exhibition at Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea. Siza was in a corner of the hall with some friends. More than a thousand guests from the Milano-bene (well-to-do Milanese) had come for a vernissage with fur coats, television spotlights, beautiful women, men… Read More

the difficulty of designing furniture

the difficulty of designing furniture

By Álvaro Siza

I Architecture: a tree here, a house there, or a temple; on the right a hill, or plain, sea, river; a bridge, regular outline of this street, the irregularity of another; colour, rhythms, climate, this client; yellowing photograph, parchment, power, marginality.Not as a matrix. Provocation, hence vocation to distort, to… Read More

Alternative Histories: NoAarchitecten on Álvaro Siza

Alternative Histories: NoAarchitecten on Álvaro Siza

When we look at Siza’s drawingwe try to forget the project we know. We see the beautiful irregularity of a pencil perimeter,defined by obstacles of all sorts. Within it, the architect added straight lines,an attempt to bring order and create a place to dwell, to find shelter. Dimensions reveal the… Read More

Alternative Histories: Murmuur Architecten on Álvaro Siza

Alternative Histories: Murmuur Architecten on Álvaro Siza

Mystery as Ground

Mystery as Ground

By Andrew Clancy

I We could start here, with this image in the exhibition Disappear Here, found in Abraham Bosse’s (c. 1602–1676) Maniere universelle de M. Desargues pour pratiquer la perspective. Two men stand looking at a four-sided form projected on the ground. Rather than an orthogonal, universal perspective that privileges one point outside the picture,… Read More

Alternative Histories: Schneider Türtscher on Álvaro Siza

Alternative Histories: Schneider Türtscher on Álvaro Siza

Accumulation – arranged, adjusted, rearranged and painted / grey cardboard, corrugated cardboard, spruce sticks, pencil, glue, acrylic paint white, acrylic paint red, clear lacquer / 20 x 22.8 x 14.3 cm.  – Claudio Schneider, Michaela Türtscher

Siza and the limits of representation

Siza and the limits of representation

By Niall Hobhouse

Over the years in which the collection of Drawing Matter has been formed we have come to understand that the most productive discussion of architecture is actually about the precise relationship between the drawing and ‘its’ building. One good rule is that an architect with a powerful idea is always… Read More