This video shows an interview with Architect Álvaro Leite Siza Vieira. He is the son of one of the best-known Portuguese architects, Álvaro Siza Vieira, winner of the 1992 Pritzker Prize and the 1988 Alvar Aalto Medal, among many other accolades. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Escola do Porto. He is best known for his Casa Tolo in northern Portugal, a residence that cascades down a steep hill like a clunky staircase fit for a giant. During the interview, he presents his 650 square meter villa called Fez House and located in Porto, Portugal.
This house is a palace of concrete and granit with 650 square meter of living and working space. Crisp contours, geometrical forms, visual alignments – the entire design plays with symmetries. The private rooms facing the garden are opened and bright and right at the back is the bedroom. The working area faced the street but it is closed and windowless.
The architect explains that the working area is a multi-purpose room, there is a possibility to arrange exhibitions, seminars and conferences there. It is a place for both visual art and architecture. He adds that the north way connects to the garden and offers more privacy and that is why this is a living area.
The dining room is separated from the living area only by a partition consisting of library shelves. Family furniture are in connection with the rest of equipment which mostly was designed by architect. Everywhere he plays with various perspectives. The overhead lighting hangs low over the dining table like an installation. Their graceful paper constructions are also designed by Vieira. He explains that the room can be changed according to need. It can be turned into a huge dining room or you can take the table out and create a big library. Additionally, you can create there a spacious hall for parties or exhibitions.
A long hallway connects the three bedrooms on the upper floor. They are sparingly furnished with selected antiques. The bath is simple and modern, finished in limestone – one of three primary materials that architect used. Vieira explains that he used only three types of natural stone. Granite from the southern Portugal on the outside. For the space between inside and out he used marble from Greece. He admits that is wasn’t a cheap material but it is an elegant transition into the interior of the house. In the interior there is a limestone – a softer material that is good to storing up heat inside.
Vieira has his office on the ground floor of the south wing. His studio is located on the floor above. He paints and draws for himself as well and he held occasional exhibitions. The ceiling breaks up the rigorously geometric. Overall concept is a playful and dramatic plaster designed with indirect lighting in stark contrast to the otherwise straight contours. The architect explains that in his studio it is possible to see the fusion of a creative romantic freedom with a rigorous geometric order.
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