Álvaro Siza, Sérgio Fernandez, Jorge Figueira, Bruno Silvestre
Including 'Sizigia' a Luis Urbano film
Thursday 09 October 2014, ESALA Edinburgh

 event video / sizigia film / event poster 

The AE Foundation is proud to present a discussion on the in pre-revolution experiences of Álvaro Siza and Sérgio Fernandez seen through the lense of the architectural and political culture of the time. “In the Portugal of the 1940s and 1950s, two developments lent depth to the feeling of at least one group of architects that the country’s architecture was falling into a set of empty stylistic patterns. The fascist dictatorship of the Estado Novo had adopted a narrow range of models by reference to which they were able to promulgate a homogeneous state style—monumental, quasi-neoclassical in appearance. In reaction architects, led initially by Keil Amaral and later including Tavora produced a thick survey called ‘Arquitectura Popular em Portugal’, in which they documented, region by region, the varieties of vernacular architecture in Portugal. What they sought was a form of building without resort to “style,” or what they called “constants,” by which to understand formal norms. In the introduction they deny the importance of type. They are afraid that from types a “Portuguese architecture” might be sought and reified into a code, just as the state had done with its models. Siza’s architecture emerged from an epoch that sought to recover from the betrayals of language and the misuse of history.” Robert Levit

RSA | Royal Scottish Academy
ESALA | Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture
GSA | The Mackintosh School of Architecture
RGU | Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment
Professor Ian Wall
Alan Dunlop Architect
Reiach & Hall Architects
Page/Park Architects
Ian Springford Architects

Álvaro Siza Vieira is an architect whose buildings, designs and structures are characterized by a quiet clarity of form and function, a sensitive integration into their environment, and a purposeful engagement with both cultural and architectural traditions. Unusually for an architect of such international standing, Siza has deliberately kept his studio small to ensure his attention to every project. He was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992.

Sérgio Fernandez studied architecture at the School of Fine Arts in Porto, and participated as a student in the CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture) in Otterloo in 1959. He is an Architect and Associate Professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Minho and Professor Emeritus at FAUP. He teaches seminars in the Netherlands, USSR, Angola, Brazil and Panama and is Author of “Portuguese Architecture, 1930/1974″ and has published widely in Portugal and abroad.

Jorge Figueira is an architect and educator. He graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Porto (FAUP) and is Director and Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, where he has taught since 1992. in 2009 he was awarded a Doctorate at the University of Coimbra with a thesis entitled ‘The Perfect Periphery. Post-modernity in Portuguese Architecture, 1960-1980′.

Luis Urbano graduated in architecture from the University of Coimbra, from where he later concluded in ‘Advanced Studies: Architecture, Territory and Memory’. In 1999 he began teaching in the Faculty of Architecture at University of Porto, where he is currently developing his research and his PhD. Since then he has also been lecturing and delivering papers in conferences and meetings, chiefly focusing on the intersections between architecture and cinema.

Bruno Silvestre studied at the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, where he graduated in 2000. Before setting up his own practice in 2010, he worked for Pedro Mauricio Borges and Manuel Graça Dias + Egas Vieira in Lisbon before joining Henley Hale-Brown Rorrison in London in 2003. in 2010 he founded his own London based practice and is currently involved in projects in UK and Portugal and is a lecturer at Kingston School of Architecture.