Álvaro Siza

The Publication of a (Guide to) Contemporary Architecture Guide  is of evident usefulness. The first volume, now published, refers to / presents the north and centre of the country, illustrating through maps, photographs and texts, a significant selection of Works built since 1974.

I can personally foresee the interest the publication of this Guide will arouse, considering the frequent visits to my studio, with the intent to obtain information on how to find known Works, of mine and by other architects. It often happens that neither I nor whoever can attend the visitors has information regarding some, equally searched for, Works.

The demand for Architectural Guides, not only by architects, seems to now accompany the habit and generalized joy of travelling. The tourist that used to almost exclusively search for monuments and the environment of the historical centres now reveals broader interests, whenever the environments and the Architecture outside the centre presents comparable quality.

That search is a sign and stimulus to not treat the city as if it is divided in two: heritage and outskirts.  It is from the dialogue between the conserved heritage and what is newly built (that will be the heritage of tomorrow, if we now demand the environment we are entitled to) that consolidates and builds the quality of one and the other.


Porto, 25th of April of 2010


Álvaro Siza