Álvaro Siza emerged serene from the creative chaos of the late 20th century as an architect whose work is largely untrammelled by fashion, fickle form-making or extravagant gestures. Now feted as one of the few living masters of modern architecture (this year he was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal), Siza is a practitioner unconcerned with the superficially heroic and iconic, preferring to create a strong sense of place through his sculptural and monumental works.

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See more images of Siza's masterpieces in the latest book dedicated to his work
Rather than provide an overview of his half-century long career, The Function of Beauty keeps its focus on the present day, delving in depth into 21 recently built and still ongoing works. Given that Siza is one of the foremost proponents of a modern architecture with a strong connection to place, the featured buildings demonstrate a broad range of stylistic approaches, always pared down yet formally varied. The trademark white render dominates, of course, but there are several surprises, like the metal-clad House in Pego, the serene brick pavilions of the Insel-Hombroich Foundation in Germany and the chalky white concrete of the Ibere Camargo Foundation Museum in Brazil.