Arquitectura Viva
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Álvaro Siza. Complete Works 1952-2013

Ana Esteban Maluenda
“Every great architect deserves a great monograph” seems to be the thinking at Taschen, which has added a new volume to its series of huge catalogs on prestigious architects. Without a doubt, their size (30.8 x 39 cm) makes it a delight for the reader to look at the magnificent photographs that the German publisher has accustomed us to, although more in-depth perusal is difficult with tomes so heavy (5.5 kg) they are hard to handle without a large surface to put them on.

Now comes the turn of Álvaro Siza, to whom, as with others, Taschen had previously devoted a book in its Architecture & Design series. In fact the new monograph is a luxurious revision and updating of the 1999 publication, where Philip Jodidio presented a mainly visual run-through of twenty buildings (see Arquitectura Viva 68) with an introductory text of his own, a chronological complete list of Siza’s works, and a short biography. The scheme is now repeated, expanded of course by the years that have since passed. A brief concluding part is then added that is not commensurate with the number of projects featured.

Nevertheless, while the product is similar to the first, it is definitely an improvement. The splendid photography, this time mostly by Duccio Malagamba and Fernando Guerra, give a clear uniform view of the Portuguese master’s oeuvre, and there are good plans that were lacking in the original. The best, I would say, is what Siza himself provides: a good number of sketches and freehand drawings, the best discourse for explaining his work. 

Philip Jodidio
Álvaro Siza. Complete Works 1952-2013
Taschen, Colonia, 2013
500 páginas


AV Monografías 227_228 - CASAS EN DETALLE AV Monographs
analyzes in each issue a theme related to a city, a country, a tendency or an architect, with articles by leading specialists complemented by commentary on works and projects illustrated in detail. Published bilingually, with Spanish and English texts placed side by side.
Arquitectura Viva 228 - JOSÉ MARÍA SÁNCHEZ Arquitectura Viva
covers current topics, taking stock of recent trends in set sections: cover story, works and projects, art and culture, books, technique and innovation. From 2013 on, monthly and bilingual, with Spanish and English texts printed side by side.
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is the third member of the AV family: a bilingual publication essentially focussed on design projects (with special attention on competitions and construction details), heretofore only laterally dealt with in the other two magazines.
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