Porto, Portugal: A Design Lover's Guide

Porto, Portugal: A Design Lover's Guide

The Leixoes terminal, designed by Luis Pedro Silva, is also in Matosinhos and provides a good overview.

Porto is the hometown of the great Master Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto De Moura, so architecture fans should not miss a visit to the Faculty of Architecture and the Serralves Museum. There are several types of tickets available for the Serralves Museum. I recommend going with the one for the garden and the villa because the most interesting parts of the museum are free to visit.

Take a few steps beyond the Serralves bus stop to reach the Vodafone headquarters in Porto, designed by architects Barbosa & Guimaraes. If you have a few extra days in the city, I recommend going to Matosinhos, where Maestro Siza was born, and seeing/visiting his two landmarks: the Boa Nova Tea House and the Piscinas das Marés, or tide pools. Both are examples of an ideal relationship between architecture and context, so much so that they have been designated as national monuments. The first, hidden among the rocks, was designed by Siza to capture the horizon through large glazed openings. He designed it at the age of twenty-five and redesigned it at the age of eighty-one to save it from demolition and turn it into a restaurant. The Leixoes terminal, designed by Luis Pedro Silva, is also in Matosinhos and provides a good overview.

When returning to the city, a stop at La Casa da Msica, designed by OMA, the Dutch studio of Rem Koolhaas, is a must. This futuristic structure was commissioned in conjunction with Porto's candidacy for European Capital of Culture. Siza's stylistic sobriety appears to be a breaking point, but he is actually very well integrated with the city's history and culture. It can be visited on a guided tour, and the super instagrammable terrace on the top floor is open to the public during lunch and sunset.

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