In juxtaposing the two projects, the exhibition points to fundamental attributes and interests of Siza’s work—engagement and estrangement, the universal and the vernacular, the specificity of the generic and the monumentality of the ordinary, the “globally local.” Both Bonjour Tristesse and Punt en Komma became internationally influential examples of a new approach that reconsidered the issue of housing on the level of the neighbourhood and in relation to the historic city. Together, they present possible models of an urban architecture at a time when the character of the twenty-first century city is yet again undergoing major transformation.
Corner, Block, Neighbourhood, Cities presents maps, drawings and sketches of Bonjour Tristesse and Punt en Komma, as well as photographs of the two projects by Giovanni Chiaramonte, Alessandra Chemollo and Peter de Ruig. In addition to two large-scale models, documentary photographs and interviews contextualize the projects in their urban, social and political settings. The work by Siza included in the exhibition offers a first glance into his architectural archive, a large part of which he donated to the CCA in 2014 as part of a wider cooperation agreement with Fundação de Serralves in Porto and the Fundação Gulbenkian in Lisbon.
A vernissage will be held immediately following a lecture by Siza on 24 September.