Few selected comments & conversation between legends: BV Doshi and Alvaro Siza

listen to conversation between legends

It is not often that one gets to listen to conversation between legends! So you can imagine how special it was for me to be one of the moderators during the conversation and to host the two phenomenal architects on SURFACES REPORTER’S (SR) platform in July 2020!

It was historic!

The two global mega icons Alvaro Siza, Portugal (Pritzker laureate 1992) and B.V. Doshi, India (Pritzker laureate 2018) talked about their philosophy of architecture which is very much rooted in traditions.

Modern Landscape Design Architecture

Earlier, I had picked 21 quotes by Professor Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi from his book “Paths Uncharted” which has more than 10 million views in www.surfacesreporter.com.

I have lovingly selected a few conversations and comments by the masters picked from the LIVE telecast on YouTube & Facebook pages of SR.

BV Doshi to Alvaro Siza (sharing his love for the way Siza sketches and works):

“When you are drawing and your own hand is drawn outside your body there is a detachment there, a spiritual contact, and not the function of a material contact. For a minute, perhaps, for a point you don’t exist and something happens to the drawing, to the lines, to the space and even to your buildings.

I was wondering about the quality of the buildings that are there which you have built, how come they almost become ephemeral? They don’t have weight; they don’t feel like dead buildings, they look like flowers. When you draw, you seem to be so detached. Are you always doing this as if you are disconnected, it is something magical, fluid, which is ephemeral?"

Alvaro Siza to BV Doshi: (Responds with a smile) You are a philosopher and a poet. So when you look at my drawings you transform in a way you make a poem, your poem about what you see in the drawing. When you see the landscape, you see a sculpture also.

Alvaro Siza (sharing his emotions when he was not selected for a project) –

“I was put out of a candidature for a competition to build a hospital because I had not made any hospital earlier. I was very angry with this and wrote a letter saying ‘Alvar Aalto had also made no hospital before he made the Sanatorium, a masterpiece that still works’. So I think, people who are obsessed with organisation of specialization are less prepared for any type of building because they do not understand the relation that exists between programs."

Architects must have specialisation but they should not be specialists.

Alvaro Siza (sharing his love for sketching while roaming in the streets) - I make sketches not only to study a building but when I go to a site I like, I cannot resist. The most irresistible town for that is Rome, because in Rome, you go to a street and start drawing, several people are doing that and no one will bother you. In some towns, it is difficult since a lot of people will come and ask you what you are doing, why you are doing. And in India too, nobody came to see what I was drawing because they have much to do, to live.

BV Doshi - I am free because I am a child

Alvaro Siza - Becoming a child is important because architecture without the pleasure & joy is a horrible activity.

BV Doshi - We are not talking about culture anymore and culture is of value, culture has no market but that is what life is about.

Alvaro Siza (while talking about a building he built long back and had come to renovate) - So when I entered the building I began looking at the pieces hanging from ceiling and I said, ‘it is too much, I don’t like it’. And, at the end, I thought, this was made by another architect, the young Alva

BV Doshi - The whole idea being that the architect is not the designer. The designer is the users who lives their lives there, and create the space what they want to.

BV Doshi (while sharing his experiences of working with master architects) - The building just sits very lightly as if a bird is sitting on the land. And I think that is something which I was fascinated. There is something to do with the spiritual quality of not touching the paper, you don't want to hurt things, and I don't know whether I am right.

For more, check out the cover story in the November/December issue of SURFACES REPORTER magazine.



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