Siza Vieira has been awarded a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2012 Venice Biennale.
Portuguese architect and 1992 Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza Vieira has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition held every two years in Venice as part of the Biennale.
The jury’s president Paolo Baratta explained the commitee’s choice with the “unique position” of Siza “in the architectural galaxy”:
“It is difficult to think of a contemporary architect who has maintained such a consistent presence within the profession as Álvaro Siza. That this presence is maintained by an architect that lives and works at the extreme Atlantic margin of Europe only serves to emphasise his authority and his status”, the jury’s statement reads.
“Siza has maintained a unique position in the architectural galaxy”, the jury say, adding that “Siza has upheld a consistent production of works at the highest level, yet without the slightest hint of the overt professionalism and promotion that has become part of the contemporary architect’s machinery”.
“Those of us fortunate enough to have heard him speak about architecture, using words as sparingly and as precise as the fine lines of his drawings, know that these works are not the product of a conventional talent but of a mind sophisticatedly exercised by the confidence of knowledge and the wisdom of doubt“, the jury added.
Siza Vieira is having a stellar 2012 after it was announced in June that he would be one of the 70 architects featured in MoMA’s upcoming exhibition “Ways of Being Political”.
(Photograph: Manuel de Sousa)