Born in 1933 in Portugal, Alvaro Siza studied at the University of Porto School of Architecture from 1949 through 1955, completing his first built works (four houses in Matosinhos) even before ending his studies in 1954. That same year he opened his private practice in Porto. In recent years, he has received honors from foundations and institutions in Europe, including, the Alvar Aalto Foundation Gold Medal in 1988, the renowned Mies van der Rohe Foundation Award the Borges & Irmao Bank in Vila do Conde, Portugal (1982-86). In the United States in 1988, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design recognized Siza for his Malagueira Quarter Housing Project in Evora, Portugal that began in 1977, presenting him with the first Veronica Rudge Green Prize. Recent projects and buildings in Portugal include, a new College of Education in Setubal, a new School of Architecture for Porto University, a Modern Art Museum for Porto, the rebuilding of the Chiado, area of Lisbon, damaged by fire in 1988, and a new Library for Aveiro University. He has participated in and won numerous other competitions including the renovation of Campo di Marte (1985) in Venice, the renewal of the Casino and Cafe Winkler (1986) in Salzburg, and the cultural center of the Ministry of Defense (1988-89) in Madrid. Siza's work ranges from swimming pools to mass housing developments, with residences for individuals, banks, office buildings, restaurants, art galleries, shops, virtually every other kind of structure in between.