The Siza Pavilion for the Chinese premium furniture brand CAMERICH at the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) in Shanghai and the accompanying design forum are the result of a cooperation between CAMERICH, CIFF and Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin. The pavilion is a 1:1 - architectural statement by the world-renowned Portuguese architect and Pritzker Laureate, Álvaro Siza. The pavilion opens on 8 September at the CIFF Shanghai and is accessible until 11 September 2019.
In light of worldwide celebrations commemorating 100 years of Bauhaus and discussions on sustainable urban design, in connection with new challenges of the digital age, Álvaro Siza was identified as the ideal designer to contribute to this east-west dialogue in architecture.
The entire pavilion appears as a fusion of the Siza-typical sequences of rooms and light, stimulated by observations and reflections make during his recent visit to Bruno Taut's Horseshoe Housing Estate (Hufeisensiedlung) in Berlin. Small courtyard-inversions in the pavilion's architecture evoke influences of Chinese building culture, which may result from Siza having realized a number of projects throughout China in recent years. The outer skin of the pavilion is fully covered in aluminium-coated insulation material, giving the unexpected appearance of a blurry-mirroring spaceship wrapped in silver, soft-cushion. Seven entrances invite visitors to explore the sequences of spaces covering 715sqm and raising up to 4.8m in height.
Remarkably, CAMERICH decided to minimise the placement of their own furniture products in order to pay tribute to the architectural designer, allowing the fair visitors to fully experience the pavilion spaces and layout. A small selection of furniture and lamps designed by Álvaro Siza are the only exhibits in the pavilion. This includes his Castanha Table and Baiana Chairs - new products designed by Siza that will be produced and distributed globally by CAMERICH in the near future. Sketches depicting the design process of the pavilion and furniture accompany the exhibit.
The Accompanying International Architecture Design Forum
Siza’s humanistic stance, his correlation to principles of the Bauhaus movement, his independent spirit and strong relation with China made him an exemplary architect for the pavilion commissioned by Camerich. His legacy is also an ideal point of departure for the international design forum which explores demands of human living conditions, traditions in craftsmanship, and possibilities of design and production in the new digital era.
Titled Designed for Humans: From Álvaro Siza's Modernism into the Digital Future, the forum is conceptualized as an intercultural discourse by ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, generously hosted by the CIFF. For more information and registration please click here.
Background and Timeline
In January 2019, CAMERICH commissioned Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin, for a pavilion concept and event for the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF). By February 2019, Siza accepted the commission under the curation of Hans-Jürgen Commerell and Kristin Feireiss. The pavilion was made possible with the coordination of Chinese liaison architect Zhang Ke and consultancy of the Portuguese architect António Choupina. The final drawings were delivered by Álvaro Siza and his team in June 2019. As a prefabricated structure, the pavilion itself will be built in China in August, and then re-assembled and installed for indoor use at the CIFF, opening on 8 September 2019.
Presented in collaboration with: