Álvaro Siza’s online Archive released

His extensive personal archive is now free for browsing

by Rossana Vinci
14 Love 7113 Visits


Thanks to the collaboration between three institutions – The Serralves Foundation in Oporto the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal (CCA) – Álvaro Siza Vieira's extensive personal archive of built and unbuilt projects is going online with free access.


In 2014 Siza donated his extensive archive since 1958 jointly to the three institutions, instigating an international collaboration in which they have established a joint methodology of archival process and description. With the donation of his archive, 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”.


After three years of archival work, the first batch of entries are set for public viewing. 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 complete archive contains more than 60,000 drawings, 500 models, 282 sketchbooks and a large record of ‘born-digital’ material.

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.

Over the coming years, further Álvaro Siza archival material will be made accessible for research.

© Serralves Foundation's Archive


© Serralves Foundation's Archive


Álvaro Siza Vieira - Leça swimming pool, Matosinhos Municipality / Portugal - Ph. © atelier XYZ