Share|The Charm of Alvaro Siza Architecture

▲Ningbo Huamao Art Education Museum
▲International Design Museum in Hangzhou

I occasionally look through Siza’s architecture books in my studio, and I often see it in the design media on my phone. Siza’s architectural spaces are very unrestrained and full of modernity, and their unique charm is very impressive.
I went back to Ningbo during the previous May Day holiday and finally had the chance to visit the Huamao Art Education Museum located on the shore of Dongqian Lake. I remember the first time I went to see Siza’s architecture was at the China Design Museum in Hangzhou, and I didn’t think it was 5 years ago when I looked through my phone photos.

The first thing that impressed me was the light.
Natural light and a small amount of lighting, after countless times mixed diffuse reflection, the white wall of heaven and earth that is the light surface is also the reflective surface, thus forming a uniform volume of light space, you do not even notice which light is illuminated, and as if entering the interior of a light sculpture, white space presents rich layers of light and dark and gray, each white is Of course, it is not very obvious in the photos, but can be intuitively felt with the naked eye on site.
In addition to the functional spotlights that are needed to illuminate the artworks in the exhibition venue, most of the space is filled with scattered light strips, led wall washer and wall sconces with upward-lighting wall light.

▲Ningbo Huamao Art Education Museum

The brightness of the space is not only the brightness in terms of illumination, but also the transparency and softness of the light, a burst of light that makes you feel like some kind of light, bright, fresh and beautiful, just like meeting a bright and fresh young man.
Nowadays pure white space has long become a fashionable style, but I have seen some exquisite pure white minimalist designs, which give a very cold, gloomy and even suffocating impression, and some spaces are illuminated with bright even overexposure, with color temperature too warm or too cold for people to stay long, however, Siza’s architecture is generous and bright.

▲International Design Museum in Hangzhou

The second point that impresses me is the sense of freedom of space.
The museum’s large scale, high ceiling space is very fluid, free and unrestrained, although it is out of the scale of daily life, and the whole space seems to be filled with a vibrant sense of life. Even with the basic language of architectural forms such as rectangular triangles, which should be formalistic and rigid, they are vividly revealed in Siza’s architecture with a spontaneous charm and joy of geometry. Huamao’s space uses many subtle combinations of curves and geometric shapes without any sense of exaggerated formality.
The space feels like it was created with a sense of three-dimensionality from classical sources, as well as many modern buildings borrowed from traditional architecture, many of whom are rigid and hierarchical and do not feel very much in line with modern humanization.

Siza’s architecture as a whole composed of light and spatial forms is humane and hedonistic, no matter how you look at it, it has a very original style, very pure architectural language, and is an unadulterated architecture. I think this purity is the greatest charm of Siza’s architecture, this is Siza’s way of building, everything is created by thinking in its own language.

Wang Shaorong 2023.5.21