Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza to present public lecture at U of T

Portrait of the architect courtesy Office of Álvaro Siza

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal (CCA) is proud to present Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza at the U of T’s Convocation Hall on Fri., Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. This is a very rare opportunity for those interested in architecture and cities, including students and design professionals, to hear the renowned Pritzker Prize–winning architect reflect on his inspiring career and work.


Álvaro Siza

Fri., Sept. 25

6-7:30 p.m.

Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, 31 Kings College Circle

Tickets are required. To RSVP, visit:



Álvaro Siza emerged in the late 1950s at the forefront of a generation of architects, modernist in sensibility but attuned to new ways to responding to history and context. Siza’s work adapted to the cultural and social context of Portugal and was at the forefront of shifting sensibilities across Europe. Drawing on both local building traditions and diverse international influences, such as the work of the Viennese Adolf Loos, the American Frank Lloyd Wright, the Finn Alvar Aalto, and the modernist German masters Hugo Haring, Bruno Taut, and Hans Scharoun, Siza injected a uniquely plastic, yet disciplined and sensitive modern architecture into the traditional fabric of Portuguese cities and towns. He has subsequently brought this sensibility to bear in numerous international commissions.

Siza’s lecture in Toronto will focus on two projects aimed a transforming the city of Porto, projects which have influenced the way a generation of architects have thought about working on cities.

Álvaro Siza has received two of architecture’s highest honors: the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1992 and the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2012. Among his many other honours, he has also received the Mies van der Rohe award (1988) and the Alvar Aalto Medal (1988). His lecture coincides with the arrival of a large part of his office’s archive at the CCA in Montreal. The donated work comprises projects representing his life-long interest in and study of houses, housing, and urbanism, as well as designs for cultural centres, museums, and universities throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.


Recognized internationally for its experience in the preservation and presentation of international archives, the CCA has committed to cataloguing and storing Siza’s materials and making them accessible for scholarly research. Siza’s public lecture also coincides with two exhibitions at the CCA featuring his work: Corner, Block Neighbourhood, Cities: Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague, and The SAAL Process: Housing in Portugal 1974-76. The celebrated architect will be presenting a lecture in Montreal a day before his presentation in Toronto.

The CCA is an internationally recognized venue for promoting the advancement of architecture and urbanism through the collecting and archiving of important bodies of work, support for scholarship and research, and the expanding of consciousness about these fields through exhibitions, publications, and other media platforms.


The University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty is an internationally recognized school of design offering professional and other programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual/curatorial studies, and is at the forefront of research in these fields.


The Álvaro Siza lecture is the start of a new collaboration between the Canadian Centre for Architecture and U of T’s Daniels Faculty that will leverage their respective strengths to advance new approaches to design research, teaching, and curatorial arts, and increase public awareness of architecture and cities’ critical role in history and contemporary society.