Two Sons of Porto. Two Pritzkers.

Photo:  Tiago LessaCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

Contemporary architecture is an accomplished reality throughout the Porto region. It is not hard to find buildings of this ilk standing side-by-side with the baroque style that is so prevalent in the city's historic world heritage city centre.

Two of the biggest names in contemporary architecture, in Porto, in the country and, in fact, worldwide, were trained in the city. Both of them also won the profession’s ultimate accolade, the Pritzker Prize.

Álvaro Siza, in 1992, and then Eduardo Souto Moura, in 2011, raised Portuguese architecture to the highest of levels, through their worlds of beauty and light and the subtlety of their work.

In the case of Siza, not only does the work seem to have sprung out of a simple pen stroke but it is also constantly reinterpreting itself. “Poetry, like Siza’s work, does not reveal all. It leaves the reader or the visitor a gap to cross, an opportunity to exercise the critical faculty; it opens up to questioning, to disquiet and to amazement,” says Nuno Higino (who built the Marco de Canavezes church designed by Siza).

Souto Moura’s work, on the other hand, expresses the complexity and dynamism of forms. As Barack Obama said, “his career dedicated not just to challenging the limits of his art, but doing so in a way that serves the public good”.

Getting round all of Pritzkers from Porto could well involve a longish trip. We invite you to take in the best of the works to be seen in Porto...

  • Metro do Porto (Stations: Trindade, Aliados, Faria Guimarães, Marquês, Combatentes, Salgueiros, Heroísmo, Campo 24 de Agosto, Bolhão, Lapa, Carolina Michaëlis, Casa da Música)

1997-2005 | Eduardo Souto Moura

2005 | Álvaro Siza

2008 | Álvaro Siza

Remodelled in 2005 | Co-designed by Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto Moura

Reconversion of the Cadeia da Relação (Gaol of the Court of Appeal) 1997-2011 | Eduardo Souto Moura

Refurbishment 1993-2002 | Eduardo Souto Moura

1986-1993 | Álvaro Siza

1991-1999 | Álvaro Siza

Take advantage of the discounts and opportunities offered by the Porto Card! There is a double advantage in the Porto Card + Transport version: you can travel with ease round the city and also visit all the metro stations mentioned here.

The work of Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto Moura extends well beyond the city itself, to the whole metropolitan area and region. Don’t forget to check out our Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto Moura maps. These will show you the way to all their work.

Enjoy Porto and the Pritzker-winning architecture of two of its famous architect sons...​

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Published 02-10-2015