Wohnhaus Schlesisches Tor
International recognition came to Siza in 1980 with his design of the Schlesisches Tor (Bonjour Tristesse), a large public housing block in Berlin. Many have read this project, Siza's first to be built abroad, as the embodiment of the "contextual" qualities of his architecture, seeing proof of Siza's trademark sensitivity to his surroundings in the rhythms of the windows, in the apartment block's evocation of the street's curve, and in the slit between the new and old buildings. I prefer to see it as a mirror of the melancholia of urban life. Now known by the name Bonjour Tristesse scrawled clandestinely on its facade, the Schlesisches Tor - with its outer wall of identically sized windows - is animated only by the abstract evocation of a horizontal line, broken by a small dip as the building encounters the sky - ruefully reminds us that architecture is not, after all, always a joyful reflection of contemporary living.