Do you want to see the future of Lisbon? Go to Expo.
On a beautiful Friday I went to take photos of the Pavilion of Portugal designed by Pritzker Prize winner, Álvaro Siza Vieira. The Pritzker Prize is perhaps the most prestigious architecture prize in the world. Siza Vieira was awarded the Prize in 1992.
By far my favorite building in Expo is the Pavilion of Portugal. It has such a grand scale and epic design. It boasts the largest suspended concrete ceiling in the world. Everyone said it couldn’t be done, but with the help of Portuguese engineer António Segadães Tavares they managed to build it.
Siza Vieira was born in 1933 in a small town north of Porto called Matosinhos. He went to the University of Porto School of Architecture from 1949 through 1955, completing his first built works (four houses in Matosinhos) even before ending his studies in 1954.
In addition to teaching architecture at the University of Porto, he has been a visiting professor at Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the University of Pennsylvania; Los Andes University of Bogota; and the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne.
Siza said, “Every design is a rigorous attempt to capture a concrete moment of a transitory image in all its nuances. The extent to which this transitory quality is captured, is reflected in the designs: the more precise they are, the more vulnerable.”
I guess you have to stand under the massive suspended concrete roof to fully appreciate the size and scale of the structure. This is truly a work of art and engineering.