On 26 November 2015, I will deliver a lecture entitled “Álvaro Siza’s Archaeology of the Ordinary. The welfare state and politics of urban renewal in 1980s Europe”, at the CCA- Canadian Centre for Architecture, in Montréal, Canada.
This lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities. Álvaro Siza in Berlin and The Hague".
Following an intense period of work in the mid-1970s with Portugal’s post-revolutionary housing initiatives, in the early 1980s Álvaro Siza contributed projects to two of the most important urban renewal programs in Europe: Berlin’s IBA and The Hague’s Stadsvernieuwing als Cultural Aktiviteit (Urban Renewal as a Cultural Activity). This lecture will examine the instrumental role that the assimilation of vernacular social and spatial practices played in Siza’s housing projects for these two cities. Focusing on the projects Bonjour Tristesse in Berlin and Punt en Komma in The Hague, it will propose the notion of an archaeology of the ordinary as a fundamental component in Siza’s work at the point of encounter between populism and dogma, and between the architect’s ambition to design for the people and the Welfare State’s insistence on conformity.
More info about the exhibition and event here: http://www.cca.qc.ca/en/exhibitions/2608-corner-block-neighbourhood-cities