area 101 | álvaro siza

architect: Álvaro Siza

location: Porto Alegre, Brazil

year: 20012007

The museum of the Ibere Camargo Foundation in Porto Allegre is currently considered to be Alvaro Siza’s last great work. It is particularly important for the original spatial organization chosen by the architect, which is absolutely innovative for a museum. The route that the visitors follow flows very effectively. The exhibition spaces penetrate and follow one another in an impressive vertical composition, all coming together to form a single element. Access to the building is gained from the rio Guaiba river, separated from the museum by a busy road. The building integrates perfectly into the landscape, constructed against a hill whose height Siza has successfully sought to adapt it to, so as not to block one’s view of the neighbouring park. It is slightly detached from the slope to form an independent element with a sculptural appearance on all of its façades. The compositional freedom adopted by Siza in no way compromises the way the building is managed from a practical point of view. On the contrary, the exhibition spaces off the main hall which incorporates four floors, gain volume and allow the visitors to find their way around easily. The exhibition route proceeds from one floor to another, partly following the access ramps positioned along the external walls, providing access to the hall and exhibition spaces. The best way of viewing this original composition is to stand at the beginning of the ramp in the main hall, and observe from there the exhibition spaces. In this way, it is possible to take in at a glance the vastness and beauty of Siza’s work, a true architectural walk. As well as these exhibition spaces, the building houses a bookshop and multimedia library, an auditorium, a bar, workshop spaces, other administrative and office spaces, storerooms in which to preserve works, workshops and a large car park.

architect: Álvaro Siza Vieira
coordination: Bárbara Rangel, Pedro Polónia
collaborators: Michele Gigante, Francesca Montalto, Atsushi Ueno, Rita Amaral, Hans Ola Boman
firm coordinator: José Luiz Canal
general consultant: Pedro Simch
structure: GOP, Lda, Jorge Nunes da Silva, Ana Silva, Raquel Dias, Filipa Abreu
air conditioning: GOP, Lda, Raul Bessa
electric system: GOP, Lda, Raul Serafim, Alexandre Martins
hydraulic system: GOP, Lda Raquel Fernandes
acoustic: GOP, Lda, Higini Arau
photo: Duccio Malagamba