Alvaro Siza’s archive is being made available online in an international initiative by three museums
The archive of the celebrated Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza is being published online in a joint project by the Serralves Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Siza donated his extensive archive of built and unbuilt projects since 1958 jointly to the three institutions in 2014, instigating an international collaboration in which they have established a joint methodology of archival process and description. Siza expressed his desire that “so many years of work can become useful in many ways, as a contribution to research and debate on architecture, particularly in Portugal and with a perspective opposed to isolation”.
Siza’s work has encompassed houses, housing and urban planning, as well as cultural centres, museums and universities throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. The archive includes documents, correspondence, photographs and slides, plus 60,000 drawings, 500 models, 282 sketchbooks, and an archive of ‘born-digital’ material. Those parts of the archive held by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Serralves Foundation are focused on Siza’s projects in Portugal and date from 1958 until 2006. The parts held by the CCA comprise projects of international resonance dating from 1958 until today. All projects from 2006 and moving forward will be added to the archive at the CCA.
The initial online archive features projects from the 1950s and 1960s, plus those for Berlin’s IBA competition and urban renewal projects in The Hague from the 1980s. They include the Bonjour Tristesse apartment building in Berlin, Punt en Komma, the Boa Nova tea house, the open swimming pool at Leça de Palmeira, the Borges & Irmão Bank, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art and the António Carlos Siza house.