Interviewed in Zagreb on 25 November 2014
Álvaro Siza Vieira, one of the most respected and most important figures of the contemporary architectural scene, is still extremely dedicated and works as intensively as several decades ago, when he started his career in architecture. We follow his work with interest and respect. Nine years ago we talked to him at his studio in Porto, in the house he designed for his teacher Távora, younger colleague Souto and himself. His attentiveness and inspiring reflections we were impressed by then, amazed us again, when we talked to him in Zagreb. During this latest meeting with him, Siza expressed his artistic, expert and, not the least important, social engagement.
ORIS: We would like to start with an atypical architectural task: restoring your own building. Currently you are finishing the restoration of the Boa Nova Restaurant. This is the second restoration; the first one was completed in 1991.
Álvaro Siza Vieira: In fact, the first one was not really a restoration. The second, this one now, was a comprehensive restoration because the building was left empty during almost one year, without security. So, the first thing was that people came and stole the copper. To steal copper, they had to put out the tiles and then the water entered. I was afraid that everything would be ruined beyond repair.