Siza’s Pavilion for Camerich (Shanghai 2019)

Internationally recognized Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza is one of the most highly regarded architects of all time.  His work has been best described as “poetic modernism.”  Some of his most notable works include: Tea House at Boa Nova in Leca da Palmeira, Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, as well Monument for poet Antonio Nobre.  In 1992 when he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize, Siza was credited as being one of the early modernist, he described how “his shapes, molded by light, have a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest.”  Now in 2019, at age 86, Siza remains true to his identity.  At the latest China International Furniture Fair Shanghai, (CIFF 2019), Alvaro Siza has masterfully created the Siza Pavilion for Camerich.  As a token of his generosity, Siza has bestowed upon the design community yet another great contribution.  In the hustle and bustle of one of the biggest and busiest furniture tradeshows in the world, Siza has done the unthinkable:  he has created a sanctuary, transporting into a cloud nine, entering a state of euphoria.  Architecture is in essence the foundation of all design.  It is architecture that provides the space and backdrop in which all designs can be showcased.  It is with architecture that has inspired some of most remarkable design concepts.  With the Siza Pavilion, all who walk through will take a journey that transports us back to the basics. This Pavilion in itself stands for the beginning and the future of this path in which we have embarked on.  This is no longer about furniture in a tradeshow.  This Pavilion reminds us of the very reason why we do what we do.

The Siza Pavilion’s outer skin is entirely comprised of mineral-wool and aluminum foil, a non-conventional material which is not only a practical selection given its soundproofing characteristics, but also creates an unusually beautiful surface which reflects an ever-changing illusion of colors, movements, and silhouettes.  The interior of the space is stark,  monotone, and sculptural.  It features narrowing of paths, complex in and out folding of the walls, creating interest from every angle. When it is all said and done, Siza has created another legacy for himself, a furniture showroom that shows not furniture, but provokes us to see and to experience from an entirely different perspective.