Portuguese Architect, Siza Vieira, Built A Tower In New York ♦ Due to the narrow site, the Portuguese architect has designed the condominium to rise 450 feet (137 metres), which he admits is fairly short in comparison to other high-rises in the city. The 37-storey tower comprises two volumes, with a larger block forming the base, and a slender volume rising on top. Siza describes the narrow proportion of this upper structure as “elegant”, likening it to the long neck of a giraffe. Secrets From Portugal brings you this amazing architecture project, the first US project ever made by the Portuguese architect, Siza Vieira.
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In 2015, a new york development team approached álvaro siza and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. After a celebrated career spanning more than half a century, the pritzker laureate had built up an unrivaled portfolio of buildings across the globe. however there was one city missing from siza’s résumé. Fortuntaely for new york, the portuguese architect enthusiastically accepted the commission to build his first project in the city — a 37-story residential tower located at the corner of 56th street and 11th avenue in manhattan’s hell’s kitchen neighborhood.
The foundation stone was laid a few months ago and the building should be ready within a year. It is a tower for housing and, according to the images already available, Guta considers it to be “a very thin tower, very elegant, very transparent, which will have a Portuguese granite frame”. The art gallery, installed in another building has the Estremoz marble-covered floor.
The works of art on display, a painted iron sculpture by Gonçalo Barreiros, an encased painting on wood by João Queiroz, and four works in ink on paper by Catarina Dias will be later in the hall of the building.
In the process, which was attended by Michael Gabellini, responsible for the tower’s interior design, 15 artists and more than 40 works were selected. In a subsequent phase, they reached six works, of which four are by Catarina Dias.
In this project, there is a substantial difference compared to what happened with Tadao Ando, since that collaboration did not result in the presence of any Japanese artwork in the building.
Siza, who originally wanted to work as a sculptor, described how, at the beginning of his career, he was worried about becoming a ‘specialist of participation’. ‘when I became known, I was invited first to Berlin, and a few times to holland, and I had to deal with many years of making only social housing,’ explained the 1992 Pritzker laureate. ‘that is a thing that happens still — it’s the ‘paranoia of specialization’. I was missing working on different scales, in different programs, which all architects need for our education — which does not finish in school. I think that no one can make a good big building, without having the experience of small buildings.’