Alvaro Joaquim Melo Siza Vieira was born in Matosinhos, Portugal, in 1933. From 1949-55 he studied at the School of Architecture, University of Porto. His first built project was finished in 1954.
From 1955-58 he was collaborator of the architect Fernando Távora. He taught at the School of Architecture, Porto (ESBAP) from 1966-69 and rejoined in 1976 as Assistant Professor of Construction. He has been Visiting Professor at the Ecole Polytéchnique of Lausanne, the University of Pennsylvania, Los Andes University of Bogotá and the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University as 'Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor'. He also taught at the Faculty of Architecture of Porto, where he held his last class in October 2003.
He develops his practice in the city of Porto, and is the author of numerous projects in Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Brazil, United States, Mexico, South Korea and China. He has been awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Valencia, Spain (1992), by the École Polithécnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland (1993), by the Palermo University, Italy (1995), by the Menéndez Pelayo University, Santander, Spain (1995), by the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería de Lima, Perú (1995), by the University of Coimbra, Portugal (1997), by the Universidade Lusíada (1999), by the Universidade Federal de Paraíba, Brazil (2000), by the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy (2004), by the University of Architecture and Urbanismo of Bucarest 'Ion Mincu', Romania (2005), by the Universidade degli studi di Pavia, Italy (2007); by the Federal University of Pará, Brazil and the Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires (2008); by the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon (2010); by the Universtiy of Seville and the University of Aveiro (2011); by the Politechnico di Milano (2012); by the University of Granada (2014); by the Universtity of Évora (2015).
He is member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; ‘Honorary Fellow’ of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects; member of the BDA/Bund Deutscher Architekten; of the Académie d’Architecture de France; of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts; of the IAA/International Academy of Architecture; of the National Geographic, Portugal; of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Honorary Fellow of the Ordem dos Arquitectos Portugueses; Honorary Professor of the Southeast University and Academy of Art, China; Honorary Fellow of the Academia de Escolas de Arquitectura e Urbanismo de Língua Portuguesa and the Casa da Arquitectura de Matosinhos.