There is something very contemplative about looking back at the reasons why we wanted to be Architects and what guided us throughout our Architecture Education.
The text below dates from 1993, it is a translation from an interview or lecture (?) by renowned Portuguese architect and professor Fernando Távora. It was never meant to be secret but it has been hidden in a folder for 25 years – it is now time to share it as reminder to young (and maybe not so young) Architects.
The awareness of an Architecture of excellence, of quality, must always be present in every project. The Architect cannot take insecure positions, the Architect must be aware of his/hers responsibility as creator of a space that it is wanted with quality.
All Architecture must be a construction with quality, a construction of quality spaces because these spaces will shape the human behaviour.
From here we can discuss the education of the Architect; what shall this education consist of for Architecture students…Fernando Távora argues the education of an Architect, or future Architect, cannot lack PASSION, CONFIDENCE and INTENSITY. With wisdom these 3 characteristics must not be abandoned, and this will not be an easy task.
The Architect must be passionate about the projects s/he creates, be tireless, and always endeavour that they satisfy the required needs without compromising their quality.
Confidence must be the starting point, the Architect must create roots, must sustain deep reasons about what s/he does, must make sense, not be carried away with the easy success to satisfy the less affirmed taste of his/hers clients.
The intensity is linked to the other two characteristics… the Architect must deliver him/herself intensively to his/her project, and not passively!
Fernando Távora participated in several Congrès International d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) and Team 10 meetings, he became a key person in the modernization of the Porto School. Two of his former students, Álvaro Siza (who also worked in his architecture office) and Eduardo Souto de Moura, have been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize.