This conversation took place on the roof deck of the Baluarte auditorium and convention center in Pamplona, shortly after Vicente Verdú introduced Álvaro Siza as part of the proceedings of the congress ‘Necessary Architecture,’ organized by the Fundación Arquitectura y Sociedad. Verdú and Siza have known each other for some time, and their friendship is enriched by their diverging but also complementary ways of seeing the world: on the one hand the view of a great architect endowed with a lyrical sensibility and a truly extraordinary lucidness; on the other, that of a journalist and sociologist who loves art and architecture and who contemplates reality with insight and passion.
Vicente Verdú (VV): The first time we met, I had quit smoking, and there you were, chain-smoking, so I said: “If you stopped smoking, you would breathe better, you wouldn’t tire so easily, and above all you would gain in lucidity.” To which you answered: “Even more?” I think that’s what defines your work: lucidity, or your awareness of it. And this is what I would like to ask you about.
Álvaro Siza (AS): Yes, but I am also conscious of my lack of lucidity, and this causes me many a problem (...)