Void in architecture or consciousness?
April 4, 2003 2:31 AM   Subscribe

But I just wanted some information about the architecture of Alvaro Siza. I didn't expect a sort of Spanish Inquisition.
posted by Dick Paris (15 comments total)
Hee hee, Dick! Siza's a pugnacious, high-spirited and obstinate commie and old enough to remember the U.S. immigration "Are you or have you ever been a Commie" rigmarole, so he's probably quite happy you Yanks get a taste of the European version, in order to gaze at his stunning buildings.

Anyway, the right to lie is, as far as I know, enshrined in every decent system of law - so all is well.

Siza, apart from a great architect, is a very funny, difficult man. Once, while showing a group of us his then half-built Faculty of Architecture in Oporto, a young conservative and very Siza-critical architect called António Braga (who designed the Lisbon Mosque) almost fell to his death through one of the ultra-modernist gaps. He just about survived, by using his open elbows as wings, but emerged white as chalk and quite severely chafed. When I got back to Siza and told him what had happened, he laughed and said "Serves him right".

Thanks for finding an acceptable presentation of his work on the Web - something I'd never managed. You've really got to invest in one of the plush books about him to get an idea of his white, taut, extremely beautiful and uncompromising creations.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:24 AM on April 4, 2003

This kind of attitude is about as useful as the rebranding of "Freedom Fries," and just about as infantile. Talk about decending to the level of your enemies...
posted by jpburns at 4:41 AM on April 4, 2003

Nobody expects the Spanish inquistion!


On a more serious note, it's usually devilishly hard to find any decent architectural information on the net, and almost impossible to find actual plans instead of just pretty pictures.
Anybody got any good architecure links?
posted by signal at 4:50 AM on April 4, 2003

Nobody expects the Spanish inquistion!

Damn! You beat me to it!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:52 AM on April 4, 2003

Signal: you might try Great Buildings or Jeffrey Howe's Digital Archive of Architecture.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:30 AM on April 4, 2003

Python quotes are pathetic. The obvious ones, anyway.
posted by websavvy at 5:57 AM on April 4, 2003

Python quotes are pathetic. The obvious ones, anyway.
How about a movie quote then:

"Lighten up, Francis websavvy."
posted by darren at 6:08 AM on April 4, 2003

The entire archINFORM site gets that kind of gateway, not just Siza's section.
posted by mrbula at 6:38 AM on April 4, 2003

I didn't get the post until clicking through the links. That'll teach me to read the comments first. Quite amusing. Signal, I think that one of the reasons that you do not find this type of info is due to us architects being slightly suspicious of posting these things... your best bet is still to go to the company website, or a place like Arcspace. They are probably one of the better, although it is a subscription... There is also Archinect , although the posts do tend to lean towards the I'm cooler than you school. You might also try ArchNewsNow .
posted by grimley at 6:38 AM on April 4, 2003

why did that not work?

posted by grimley at 6:40 AM on April 4, 2003

why did that not work?

posted by grimley at 6:41 AM on April 4, 2003


posted by grimley at 6:41 AM on April 4, 2003

"Old Europe" is a cheap faux-German restaurant in D.C. - I love it!

From The "Old Europe" menu:

Old Fashioned Sauerbraten $10.75
Slices of delicious marinated beef served with potato dumplings and red cabbage
Hungarian Beef Goulash $9.65
One of Old Europe’s favorites presented with potato dumplings and red cabbage
Wiener Schnitzel $11.75
Breaded veal sautéed in butter and served with home fried potatoes and a vegetable
Rahmschnitzel $13.25
Veal steak sautéed with fresh mushrooms, served with rahmsauce, spätzle and a vegetable
Kassler Rippchen $10.25
Smoked loin of pork served with sauerkraut and potato dumplings
Zwiebelrostbraten $11.85
Rib steak smothered in roasted onions, served with home fried potatos and a vegetable
Black Forest Chicken $8.85
Breast of chicken blanketed in a sour cherry/mushroom sauce, spätzle and a vegetable
Breaded Pork Chops $10.45
Tender, succulent pork chops served with potato salad and a garnish

posted by troutfishing at 6:52 AM on April 4, 2003

Miguel, thanks for the anecdote. I was actually looking for a site to show Siza's work to someone else to accompany a list of architects whose work I currently favor.

I met Siza when he was a visiting critic during my time at grad school and enjoyed his critiques and chats about materials and modernism.

Architecture sites are hard to sift through on the web -- I find one of the most difficult challenges in finding images of great european works of the 20th c. is knowing what the project might be called relative to who is posting the information: e.g. a search for Casa de Popolo yields one useful hit on the front page but then Casa del Fascio is a whole other matter.
posted by Dick Paris at 9:16 AM on April 4, 2003

Or try my favorite, Skyscraper Page - two dimensional elevations of buildings - a great way to compare the heights of buildings.
posted by plemeljr at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2003

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