Alvaro Siza

Office on the water

Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira

Photos courtesy of Fernando Guerra_FG+SG

Office on the water

Álvaro Siza and Carlos CastanheiraarchmarathonÁlvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira
Álvaro Siza: Rua do Aleixo 53, Porto, Portugal
Carlos Castanheira: Rua Conselheiro Veloso da Cruz, 61 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Project selected:
Office on the water
Huai'an, Jiangsu, China

Like a coiled, sleeping dragon, this office building floats on the water of the lake, which is also the dam for the Shihlien Chemical Industrial factory in Huai’an, Jiangsu province, PRC.
The idea of placing the main office building on water was implicit in the master plan for the factory, as this primarily chemical industry needs a reservoir to ensure its permanent, constant production.
The curved shape of the volume, accessed across two bridges, makes it seem to move as one approach and moves away.
The extremely simple organization is distributed on two levels: the main entrance is on the east side, where the central foyer provides access to the work area in a south-facing unit, with another north-facing unit for the social and exhibition zones. The service entrance, restaurant and kitchen areas all face north. The administration zones and facilities of the associate companies are on the upper floor.
The highlights of the main body include the volumes for the special zones such as the meeting rooms and the auditorium. Stairs, bridges and a ramped bridge facilitate accessibility, functionality and circulation between the spaces.
White concrete, aluminum/wood window frames and glass characterize the materiality of the building in contrast to the fluidity of the water body that supports it.
The building moves, always displaying its different forms with controlled elegance, exposed to light and shadows, with changing colors and reflections.
As architecture should it be.

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Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira

Álvaro Siza
Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira was born in Matosinhos in 1933. He studied architecture at the Fine Arts School of Porto between 1949 and 1955, and its first project in 1954. He was a collaborator of Prof. Fernando Távora between 1955 and 1958. He taught at ESBAP between 1966 and 1969; rejoined in 1976 as Assistant Professor of “Construction”. Was Visiting Professor at the Polytechnic School of Lausanne, the University of Pennsylvania in Los Andes School in Bogota, Graduate School of Design of Harvard University as “Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor taught at the Architecture Faculty of Porto.
He works in Porto city.
He has received numerous awards and honors including the Pritzker Prize in 1992 , the Wolf Prize for the Arts in 2001, the RIBA ‘s Royal Gold Medal in 2009 and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition Venice in 2012.

Carlos Castanheira
Carlos Castanheira, Lisbon, June 1957. Graduated in Architecture from the School of Fine Arts in Porto (1976-1981). Lived in Amsterdam from 1981 to 1990 where he worked as an Architect and studied at the Academie voor Bouwkunst van Amsterdam. In 1993 he founded the practice Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai, Arquitectos Ldª with the Architect Maria Clara Bastai. Working mainly in the private sector, he has acted as juror on competition panels, participated in conferences, has been involved in setting up Architectural education courses and workshops, has curated and organized exhibitions, and has edited and published books and catalogues. Since he was a student he has been collaborating with the Architect Álvaro Siza in various projects in Portugal but principally abroad.
Prize for Timber Construction 2005 – AIMMP
National Prize for Architecture in Timber 2011 – AFN/MA
Best Wine of Tourism 2015 – Regional winner in Architecture and Landscape

Main projects:
– Anyang Pavilion, Anyang, South Korea – 2006
– Mimesis Art Museum , Paju Book City, South Korea – 2009
– House in South Korea, Jeju Island, South Korea – 2011
– AMOREPACIFIC R&D Campus, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea: Mizium Building (R&D Center) – 2010, Pavilions 1 – 2010, Pavillion 2 – 2010, Gate House – 2010, Guest House – 2013, Canopy – 2013
– Reception House – Taifong Golf Club, Chang Hua County, Taiwan – 2014
– The Building on the Water – Shihlien Chemical, Huai’an City, JJiangsu Province, China – 2014

Work in progress:
– Club House – Taifong Golf Club, Chanh Hua County, Taiwan: Club House, Tea House, Gate House
– Chinese Design Museum – Bauhaus Collection, China Academy of Arts Campus, Hangzhou, China
– Dongqian Lake Club Houses, Dongqian Lake . Ningbo, China
– Ningbo Education Museum, Dongqian Lake . Ningbo, China
– Renewal of the Hotel Sun Sun, Praça Ponte e Horta, Macau
– Saya Park Pavillion, Gyeongsangbuk-do,  South Korea
– Jeju Tea House, Jeju Island, South Korea
– Mausoleum Fam. Lin, Jin Baoshan, Taipei County, Taiwan

Project selected for Archmarathon: Office on the water