RIBA Gold Medal 2009


Álvaro Siza 

The premier architectural award of the Isles, granted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), has gone to the Portuguese Álvaro Siza. His work, as the jury commended, is always attentive to the possibilities of the place, and interprets the legacy of the Modern Movement from the open dialogue with tradition and with context, giving as a result an architecture that is at the same time modest and filled with poetic material. From the works of his beginnings, like the restaurant Boa Nova in Leça da Palmeira (1963), to other more recent ones, like the Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre (2008), his career is characterized by its coherence, recognizable as much in the small buildings – Casa David Vieira de Castro in Famalicão (1994) – as in larger scale interventions – the Malagueira quarter in Évora (1997) – or in representative public buildings – the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo (1993) or the Portuguese Pavilion in Lisbon’s Expo 98. Álvaro Siza has also received in 2009 the Gold Medal of the Académie d’Architecture of France, heir of the Société Centrale des Architectes.

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