Portuguese architect Alvaro Joaquim Melo Siza Viera (born June 25th, 1933 in Matosinhos near Porto) is one of the best-known Portuguese architects of the 20th century. Alvaro Siza is an alumnus of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Porto (now the Faup - Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto) where he taught from 1966 to 1969, returning in 1976. In 1954 he opened his private practice in Porto where he also built most of his well known works.
It was not until the 1980s that Alvaro Siza began to recieve recognition through exhibitions and commissions in other European countries. In 1992, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize, in part as a recognition for the coodination of the renovation of the Chiado, a historic quarter of Lisbon, which was all but destroyed by a fire in 1988. Siza's Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre, Brazil was honoured by the Venice Architecture Biennale with the Golden Lion award in 2002. Other recognitions include the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture and the Alvar Aalto Medal in 1988 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2009.
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