A breathtaking gateway to Muslim civilizations in Europe, the Alhambra in Granada, Spain is an architectural masterpiece. How can a contemporary architect complement its design, adding a visitors’ centre for the millions of people who flock to the site each year? Discover the vision — and artistic challenge — of Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza in this exciting exhibition. Álvaro Siza: Gateway to the Alhambra reveals the creative process and artistic genius of one of today’s greatest living architects.
Álvaro Siza has been fascinated with the Alhambra since the 1940s. His award-winning proposal for the Alhambra visitor centre (called New Gateway or Puerta Nueva) applies the many lessons he has learned from the Alhambra itself, including complex geometry, the use of light and water as primary design elements, and a masterful balance of natural and artificial landscape.
Explore through models and sketches, renderings, large-scale photographs, and video how Siza developed his design for an innovative structure that includes a courtyard, auditorium, and restaurant. Enjoy architectural objects from the Alhambra’s own collection, and understand why the Alhambra has inspired countless artists and architects since the 14th century. Exclusive to the Toronto installation of this exhibition: a selection of ceramic tiles, marble capitals, intricately carved doors, and other original architectural elements from the Alhambra conjure the magnificent detailing of this World Heritage site.
D. Fairchild Ruggles, Professor of Landscape History at the University of Illinois, explores how the Alhambra’s flourishing landscape was previously abandoned and left to the elements, then valued once again in the 19th century by travellers, designers, and world-renowned architects.This lecture took place on August 10, 2016 in the Aga Khan Museum auditorium.
In this short video, celebrated artist Aisha Khalid reflects on the inspiration behind and the process of creating her six-metre long double-sided tapestry, titled “Your Way Begins on the Other Side.” Inspired by a traditional four-part Persian garden and named after a poem by Sufi mystic Rumi, the hand-made tapestry consists of more than one million gold-plated pins. It remains the first contemporary acquisition of the Aga Khan Museum.