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@zaxarovcom
Jun 21, 2024

In the quiet enclave of Leça do Balio, near Porto, Portugal, Álvaro Siza Vieira's latest architectural masterpiece unfolds as a poetic dialogue between history and modernity.

The Monastery of Leça do Balio, a National Monument with roots stretching back to the Roman period, has been reimagined and reinvigorated under Siza's discerning eye. This transformation, completed in 2024, signals a profound commitment to cultural preservation and innovative public engagement, marking a new chapter for the Foundation Livraria Lello.

Siza Vieira, a Pritzker Prize laureate, seamlessly melds the monastery's storied past with a vision for the future. His design encompasses a 4,305-square-foot extension crafted in pristine white concrete, punctuated by towers standing 40 and 46 feet tall. This juxtaposition of ancient and contemporary elements underscores Siza's architectural philosophy: respecting the legacy while embracing the new.

The integration of permeable, stabilized gravel sidewalks and the incorporation of a free-standing sculpture, "Wayfarer," reflect Siza's childhood aspirations of becoming a sculptor. This six-foot-tall sculpture serves not only as an artistic anchor but also as a symbolic tribute to the pilgrim's journey on the Camino de Santiago, fostering a contemplative space within the monastery's serene grounds.

The monastery has been transformed into a multipurpose nucleus open to the community, promoting literacy, critical thinking, and cultural engagement. The inaugural exhibition, "Act the Thought," delves into the pervasive issue of misinformation, featuring poignant narratives of figures like Salman Rushdie, Malala Yousafzai, and Ai Wei Wei, alongside JR's compelling Inside Out installation. This exhibition, running from June 22 to December 31, 2024, underscores the foundation's mission to illuminate and confront contemporary societal challenges.

Landscape architect Sidónio Pardal complements Siza's architectural vision, enhancing the monastery's grounds with thoughtful integration of new pathways and maintaining the gardens, slated for inauguration in 2025. This collaboration reinforces the dialogue between built form and natural environment, creating a holistic and harmonious experience for visitors.

The Monastery of Leça do Balio, through Siza Vieira's transformative design, emerges not merely as a preserved relic but as a vibrant cultural hub.

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@zaxarovcom
Jun 21, 2024

In the quiet enclave of Leça do Balio, near Porto, Portugal, Álvaro Siza Vieira's latest architectural masterpiece unfolds as a poetic dialogue between history and modernity.

The Monastery of Leça do Balio, a National Monument with roots stretching back to the Roman period, has been reimagined and reinvigorated under Siza's discerning eye. This transformation, completed in 2024, signals a profound commitment to cultural preservation and innovative public engagement, marking a new chapter for the Foundation Livraria Lello.

Siza Vieira, a Pritzker Prize laureate, seamlessly melds the monastery's storied past with a vision for the future. His design encompasses a 4,305-square-foot extension crafted in pristine white concrete, punctuated by towers standing 40 and 46 feet tall. This juxtaposition of ancient and contemporary elements underscores Siza's architectural philosophy: respecting the legacy while embracing the new.

The integration of permeable, stabilized gravel sidewalks and the incorporation of a free-standing sculpture, "Wayfarer," reflect Siza's childhood aspirations of becoming a sculptor. This six-foot-tall sculpture serves not only as an artistic anchor but also as a symbolic tribute to the pilgrim's journey on the Camino de Santiago, fostering a contemplative space within the monastery's serene grounds.

The monastery has been transformed into a multipurpose nucleus open to the community, promoting literacy, critical thinking, and cultural engagement. The inaugural exhibition, "Act the Thought," delves into the pervasive issue of misinformation, featuring poignant narratives of figures like Salman Rushdie, Malala Yousafzai, and Ai Wei Wei, alongside JR's compelling Inside Out installation. This exhibition, running from June 22 to December 31, 2024, underscores the foundation's mission to illuminate and confront contemporary societal challenges.

Landscape architect Sidónio Pardal complements Siza's architectural vision, enhancing the monastery's grounds with thoughtful integration of new pathways and maintaining the gardens, slated for inauguration in 2025. This collaboration reinforces the dialogue between built form and natural environment, creating a holistic and harmonious experience for visitors.

The Monastery of Leça do Balio, through Siza Vieira's transformative design, emerges not merely as a preserved relic but as a vibrant cultural hub.

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