Álvaro Siza's Archive

John Hill
24. July 2014
Photo: Office of Álvaro Siza, courtesy of CCA

In a statement posted on the CCA's website yesterday, Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza reveals where he will donate the archive of his "many years of activity dedicated to architecture."

Per the statement, parts of Siza's archive will go to two Portuguese institutions, the Fundação Gulbenkian and Fundação de Serralves. The goal, in addition to enlarging their archives, is to increase "access, dissemination and active participation in a debate that is no longer simply national nor centered on an individual."

The majority of the archive will go to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. Siza refers to the CCA as "an institution of unequaled experience and prestige." Even though the physical distance between Quebec and Portugal is more than 3,200 miles (5,150 kilometers), Siza states the "CCA is open to collaborate with Fundação Gulbenkian and Fundação de Serralves to establish a consistent cataloguing system and to share the research and related programming."

Size lecturing at MoMA in 2013. Photo: John Hill/World-Architects

A year ago we witnessed the numerous drawings Siza produces on a single project, specifically the Foundation Iberê Camargo in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Yet in addition to Siza's distinctive sketches, his archive is rich in models. In fact Siza is supportive of "an exhibition space for the architecture of [Porto], particularly focusing on models," per the CCA statement. This space, and the spread of Siza's archive in and beyond his home country, ensures the continued influence of the master architect in the discourse of contemporary architecture.

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