Designed when he was 21 years old, the Quatro Casas em Matosinhos (Four Houses in Matosinhos) is one of Alvaro Siza's earliest works. The project, located in Siza's hometown of Matosinhos, Portugal, consists of four residences built within a city block. Two of the residences are isolated structures; the other two are set together as rental units-- "designed together, for reasons of kinship among the clients." -- Cianchetta, A. and Molteni, E. (Ed.s). (2004). Alvaro Siza: Private houses 1954-2004. Milan: Skira. p. 24.
Furthermore, "the organicism of these houses echoes the architecture characteristic of the region, while [Siza's] subtle torsions of the geometry of standard rooms give each interior space a particular definition. On the outside, tall, narrow slits cut into a wall beneath an exterior staircase reveal Siza's predilection for filtering local forms through the language of Modernism. Yet he does not specifically attempt to integrate the traditional and the Modern (these are small urban homes), but, rather, to break with the conformist '50s-style modernism of the buildings that line the street." -- Manuel Gracas Dias, ArtForum, Feb. 1997.
Keywords: Portugal, Matosinhos, Modernist, residential structures, houses. Submitted by Timothy Crowther, recipient of the 2005 Whitaker Travelling Fellowship.