area 101 | álvaro siza

architect: Álvaro Siza

location: Lisbon, Portugal

year: 19922004

In 1988 the council administration of Lisbon instructed Alvaro Siza to plan the rebuilding of the Chiado quarter, damaged during the fire of 1986, and the building of a commercial and residential estate called Terracos de Braganca, not far from Chiado. This estate covers an area of around 5000 square metres and it sits on a plot where all the buildings had been knocked down. Siza decided to rebuild along Alecrim street, keeping the contour of the original buildings the way they had been before their demolition. The traditional style of this quarter inspired him to use slightly protruding railings and balconies, and stone or azulejos (ceramic) lining, reserving the stone for the commercial façades and the ceramic for houses and offices. Thus he was able to reinterpret the local and historical style all along the street’s façades: the “rhythm” of the lights and of the balconies was transposed in a modern key, modest and well suited to these buildings, even though their main structure is made of reinforced steel and their roofs used to support the gardens. The back façades stand on pylons above the ground, in a simple but effective, well scanned rhythm. These were totally covered in stone, looking out onto the space left between these buildings and those opposite, with their backs to them. Here we can find remains dating back to the 14th century, including the wall of Ferdinand, open to the public at all times, winding below the pylons. It is a sort of “archaeological garden”, where stone staircases are integrated with the buildings, an example of how an archaeological environment can be completely respected and integrated in a modern environment, giving us the impression that this site had never changed.

projecy: Terraços de Bragança
date: 1992-2004
architect: Álvaro Siza
architectural coordination first phase: Clemente Menéres
architectural coordination second phase: Miguel Nery
collaborators: Ashton Richards, Francesca Montalto, Claúdia Vogel, Cristina Ferreirinha, Vitor Oliveira, Michele Gigante, Maria Moita, Mitsunori Nakamura, Atsushi Ueno, Tomoko Kawai
technical project: STA – Segadães Tavares Associados, Lda.
structures: António Segadães Tavares (Estruturas)
electric system: António Vieira Pereira
mechanical, gas, water system: Carlos Palma
landscape architect: João Gomes da Silva
client: Imopólis – Sociedade Gestora de Fundos de Investimento Imobiliário, S A
firm: Ferrovial – Agromán, S.A.
photos: Rui Morais de Sousa