Álvaro Siza to speak at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

álvaro siza
álvaro siza
Coinciding with the arrival of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza’s archive at the CCA and the opening of the exhibition Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities: Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza will present a lecture on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 6:00pm.

The event presents the opportunity to further explore Siza’s architectural practice, his inspiring career and his work as presented in the exhibition which features two of his key European projects in the 1980s: Bonjour Tristesse in Berlin and Punt en Komma in The Hague. The lecture will take place in the Paul Desmarais Theatre at the CCA: admission is free but seating is limited. Siza will also host a lecture in Toronto on September 25th as part of an institutional collaboration project between the CCA and the University of Toronto.

Bonjour Tristesse and Punt en Komma are Siza’s first built projects outside of Portugal and incorporate considerations he explored earlier in Porto through the experiment of the SAAL Process—on which the CCA is presenting an exhibition until October 4, 2015. The process addressed housing on the scale of the neighbourhood within the context of a historic city, and invited the participation of the buildings’ occupants. It expanded the social and political role of the architect in a crucial way. While the two above-mentioned projects were conceived at the same time and share similarities in scale and program, Siza arrived at very distinct solutions in the two different locations. In this sense they reflect Siza’s ability to reflect a local urban character—the buildings assume a different tone through particular architectural elements that engage their respective neighbourhoods.

The exhibition includes a series of photographs by Giovanni Chiaramonte, Alessandra Chemollo and Peter de Ruig which offer a contemporary reading of Siza’s projects and illustrate his capacity to allow for adaptation and transformation.

Álvaro Siza emerged in the late 1950s at the forefront of developing a new architectural language adapted to the cultural and social context of Portugal. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992 and the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2012, among many other recognitions. The Siza archive at the CCA comprises projects representing his life-long interest and study of houses, housing, and city planning, as well as designs for cultural centres, museums, and universities throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. The material includes sketches, drawings, study models, as well as related digital files, correspondence and documentary photographs. The CCA is committed to cataloguing and storing the materials and making them accessible to scholarly research.

For more information, please visit http://www.cca.qc.ca/system/files/456/original/cca_pr_siza.pdf.