Sally Faulder

Alvaro Siza & Hans-Georg Gadamer: Revealing the Hermeneutic Process of Architecture 

This research project utilises a selection of the works of Álvaro Siza to explore the rolearchitecture plays in how we interpret and understand the world. We – human beings – are not distinct from our environment, and the environment we build both expresses and adds to our understanding of ourselves. Siza's works and their sensitive relationships to their contexts and tradition are used to demonstrate the processes through which this takes place.

The research is carried out through the conceptualframework of Hans-Georg Gadamer's hermeneutic phenomenology. Gadamer's thinking highlights the interplay of our self-understanding and our understanding of the world, and how this is part of a perpetually changing composition of interpretations growing out of the past and traditions.

This approach was developed through an analysis of the Royal Academy's 'Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined' exhibition in which the installations produced were investigated as part of a collective study into the poetic and experiential aspects of architecture. Through the analysis of Siza's projects, this research aims to add to the discourse of the hermeneutic aspects of architecture, and to offer a framework through which to engage it in the process and interpretation of design. 

Alvaro Siza