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I decided to introduce you to my selection of the works famous arquitect Álvaro Siza Vieira in Porto, instead of making an exhaustive list of buildings.Along the way, you’ll also step on two leading names of Portuguese poetry: António Nobre and Eugénio de Andrade, rightly honoured by Álvaro Siza. Indeed, visiting and photographing Siza Vieira’s monuments is one of the best things to do in Porto.

Before reading this article: have you already decided where to stay? If not, read my article about the Best neighborhoods to stay in Porto! There I give you plenty of recommendations of great hotels and apartments in Porto.

1958 – 1963: Tea House at Boa Nova

Avenida da Liberdade, 1681 | Tue – Sat 12:30pm – 3pm & 7:30pm – 11pm
alvaro siza architect tea house boa nova

Photo by LeonL via VisualHunt / CC BY

Perhaps the most famous work of Siza Vieira in Northern Portugal, the Tea House of Boa Nova in Leça da Palmeira, has the uniqueness of being built on the rocks of the Atlantic Ocean, in constant challenge to the maritime elements. Currently, it houses a luxury restaurant by Chef Rui Paula that has been awarded with two Michelin stars.

1961 – 1966: Piscina das Marés

Avenida da Liberdade – Leça da Palmeira | Summer 9am – 7pm
alvaro siza pool piscina mares

Photo by the website www.matosinhoswbf.pt

Nearby the Tea House, these pools are perfectly blended in its maritime habitat, offering a salty dip protected from the whims of the Atlantic ocean. They were built during the 60s and they are currently being rehabilitated – the swimming pool is expected to reopen during Autumn 2020. I don’t think it is worth to visit it before then, because with all the construction work going on you can barely see the swimming pool from the outside.

1970: Supermarket Unicoope Domus

Rua de Pedro Escobar – Porto

alvaro siza architecture supermarket unicoope domus
Hidden from curious eyes, this former grocery store (one of the first to ever open in Porto!), was recently renovated (for which future use?), is the living proof that masters are both celebrated and forgot everywhere.

1980: Monument honouring the poet António Nobre

Jardim de João Chagas – Cordoaria
alvaro siza architect monument honouring poet antonio nobre

Photo by Christian Ganshirt.

A simple monument honouring the great poet António Nobre, where you can read: “Fed up with the pain by which they were killing him / he went traveling the world”.  It is, due to its simplicity, one of the most ignored works of Siza Vieira in Porto.

It is practically in front of Casa de Chá da Boa Nova – just cross the street, very carefully.

1986: Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto

Via Panorâmica Edgar Cardoso, 215

I include the Faculty of Architecture of Porto on this list because it seems to me worthy of praise the contribution of a citizen, on the right measure of his capabilities, to the city where he was born and where he grew both as a human being and as an architect.

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1991 – 1999: Serralves Contemporary Art Museum

Rua Dom João de Castro, 210 | Mon – Fri 10h – 18h Sat, Sun & Holidays 10am – 7pm
Photo by LeonL via Visual hunt / CC BY

Photo by LeonL via Visual hunt / CC BY

I especially like Serralves Contemporary Art Museum because of its space, its silence and the multiple possibilities of living Art, offered by the architectural mastery of Siza Vieira.

(Psst! If you’re thinking about visiting the museum, you should definitely buy the skip-the-line online ticket to Serralves. You’re welcome. 😉

1996: São Bento subway station

Praça Almeida Garrett – Baixa do Porto

São Bento subway station (not to be confused with São Bento TRAIN station!) seduces me because of Siza Vieira’s drawings on the wall – there is one, on the right side of those who descends the second escalators towards the subway line, which enchants me particularly, as it represents, in two or three lines, a beautiful bridge over Porto.

2006: Home and Atelier of Armanda Passos

Foz do Porto

alvaro siza house home atelier armanda passos

A couple of readers already got in contact with me asking me how to visit this particular work of Siza Vieira in Porto but as far I as know it is not open to visitors and they do not reply to emails or phone calls. A pity, truly!

2005: Tombstone of the poet Eugénio de Andrade

Cemitério Prado do Repouso – Porto

alvaro siza architect tombstone poet eugenio de andrade
Eugénio de Andrade makes me company in so many occasions. A poet so great and yet humble could only rest in a snowy grave, absent of religious symbols or others but innocent and secret words. In Prado do Repouso’s cemetery, between silent breezes, you can read:“Earth: if one day you touch the sleeping body, puts green leaves where you put silence, be light on whom was for you.”

Note: The cover photo was taken by Wojtek Gurak (via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC) and it represents the social housing SAAL, Bouça, commonly known as “Bairro da Lapa”.

Extra: Go on a private tour in Porto

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The best way to get to know Porto is to go on a private tour with me!Check this page to learn more about my tours in Porto, or simply send an email to sara@portoalities.com. I will shortly get back to you with a tailor made tour designed specifically for you.It will be a pleasure to welcome you in Porto!