Connoisseur's Guide


Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis

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Jewellery by Artists: From Picasso to Koons, an exhibition organised by the culture and art portal

Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · portugal · Porto · Architectural Tourism Handbook by Andis Sīlis


Author: Andis Sīlis0 COMMENTS


Before setting to anything more important, take a look at the city centre and the Eiffel Bridge from a sightseeing spot across the river, high up upon its bank, at the Serra do Pilar Monastery. Pay attention to a quite poor and shabby for the time being and yet, so picturesque old city area that spreads at the river-front, opposite the customs building. Tourists are fewer, and the spirit of the ruthless flow of time is more discernible there. Splendid buildings, now neglected, with marvelous views opening up from their windows still bare traces of bygone prosperity. Just imagine what an insane price houses with such a view would cost in Riga!
The most significant in Porto are two objects - Casa da Música designed by Rem Koolhaas and the Museum of Contemporary Art - a masterpiece of Alvaro Siza.

Foto: PortoFoto: Porto

Before visitation of the new Porto concert hall, I read numerous reviews, ranging from exaltation to complete rejection. It seems incredible now that a compared to a "meteorite" object could have been able to shatter or even destroyed a stable and long-standing architectural tradition of Porto. Moreover, some critics dared to grumble about invasion of Martians in the otherwise rich in traditions city. Nonetheless, the effect is just fascinating - a volume and an inside area features a truly amazing architectural concoction. I would be just glad sending Riga conservative public to appreciate the force of contemporary architecture there and to realize, in this particular case, how a search for new sculptural forms can produce a considerable surplus value.

Foto: PortoFoto: PortoFoto: Porto

Alvaro Siza - pretty whimsical at the start of his career, pressing on with even more power, and finally, towards his senior age, relishing subtle finesses of style - has created a genuine masterpiece. The garden is a value in itself, and his architecture, so refined, that interplay of the façades and nature produces a very special chemistry. Inside space is perfectly articulated and well thought out, bearing witness of the presence of a true creator. On your way from the entrance, pay attention to a small courtyard with a single tree in the middle of green lawn. One wall of the building is slightly bent and as if irrationally thin, yet, the curved volume in combination with the roof's roundish form makes you realize that it takes to be a genius, to be able to address a viewer's subconsciousness, creating almost breathtaking dimensional qualities. In this particular case subtlety of modern architecture comes close to its once lost harmony.

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