House-Atelier Fez | The Plan
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House-Atelier Fez

Álvaro Leite Siza Vieira

Europa | Porto

In designing his own home-cum-studio - the Fez House in Oporto - Álvaro Leite Siza has produced a manifesto, a summa of his approach - thus far - to the art of construction. As his own client, Siza makes a key statement on his working method.
The urban plot in question was enclosed and required the acquisition of road access to get building permission. The volume is graduated to fit in with the naturally sloping terrain. A long, massive parallelepiped, it is hollowed out and chipped away to produce the final shape. The result is a complex, dense mass of concrete and granite slabs with recesses and projections. Roof and walls have deep, well-like openings and cave-like recesses. The building stands like a natural outcrop, an architecture mediating between openness and closure.
The closed gallery on the west elevation epitomises this feature: a polygonal external wall conceals...

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