The Serralves Foundation expansion photographed by Fernando Guerra

Inside the Álvaro Siza Wing

John Hill
22. February 2024
Photo © Fernando Guerra

World-Architects learned about the new Álvaro Siza Wing at Museu Serralves last November, when we shared a short film that both illustrates the various projects Siza had carried out on the site from the mid-1990s to 2021 and describes the design of the new wing, which was completed after just 18 months of planning and construction. In November, the museum's opening was just vaguely “early 2024,” but now we know the Siza Wing will open on Saturday, with its two inaugural exhibitions on display until August 24, 2024. Below is a short visual tour of the Álvaro Siza Wing, featuring photographs by Fernando Guerra and brief captions on the design features of the expansion.

The new wing (at left) is linked to the larger main building of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, which was also designed by Álvaro Siza and opened to the public in 1999. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
The blocky, angular footprint of the expansion brings to mind the wood sculptures by Siza that were on display at the Venice Architecture Biennale last year as part of the Holy See Pavilion. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
The Siza Wing (at right) is connected to the main museum building by a bridge that spans an existing footpath in Serralves Park. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
The new wing's reinforced concrete walls, finished with painted plaster flush with granite wainscoting, closely matches the 1999 building by Siza. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
Opposite the bridge that connects to the existing museum is a triangular window, an unexpected feature in Siza's oeuvre and one that draws attention to the new building being different from its predecessor. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
Seen from inside, the triangular window is accompanied by an inverted triangle, a portal through a gallery wall. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
Circulation through the three-story, 45,000-square-foot (4,180 m2) expansion echoes the exterior, with white plaster above stone wainscoting. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
Two of the new wing's three floors are dedicated space for exhibitions, which adds 50% more exhibition space to the already large museum. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)
In addition to being designed by and named for Álvaro Siza, the new wing will house the sizable portion of Siza's archive that he bequeathed to the museum in 2015. (Photo © Fernando Guerra)

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