Posts tagged with "Brazil":

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Lina Bo Bardi’s Brazilian masterworks are in danger of being lost

The following is a roundtable discussion among three Brazilian and Italian architects and scholars on the legacy of Lina Bo Bardi and the state of preservation of her works in Salvador de Bahia. Giacomo Pirazzoli: An architect and an immigrant, Lina Bo Bardi moved from Italy to Brazil in 1946 to start working in San Paulo. In 1959 she was invited to work in Salvador de Bahia, where she first became acquainted with Afro-Brazilian culture. Among the most relevant works she achieved while there, the Museum of Modern Art (MAM) at the Solar do Unhao—a former transfer point for sugar shipment—was re-designed in a few steps. Intriguingly enough, she declared “this is not a museum” since it had no collection; instead Lina thought it should have been “a center, a movement, a school," at least according to the research begun in 1946 by her husband and partner-in-crime Pietro Maria Bardi. Four years after the Centenário de Lina Bo Bardi (1914-2014): Tempos vivos de uma arquitetura exhibition in Salvador that focused on the conservation of Bo Bardi’s work, the windows at MAM toward the bay have been capped, invasive air conditioning ducts have been installed, and paintings are actually hanging on the walls as in a bourgeois living room, something Bo Bardi refused for years. How would you comment on all of this? Ana Carolina Bierrenbach: In 2015, together with Eduardo Rossetti (University of Brasília), I wrote an article for the architecture magazine RISCO, published on the occasion of the centenary of Lina Bo Bardi you mentioned. In that essay, we put forward some observations that I believe are still true today. We emphasized the fact that Lina finally got recognized in Brazil and abroad, sometimes reaching a level that we could define as idolatry, which we consider even excessive. Her works in São Paulo got appropriate care, as they have already had restoration, or soon they will have. Perhaps this concerns the role of architecture in São Paulo, which has a more widespread attention among local people, unlike what happens here in Salvador where perhaps people do not recognize how important architecture can be. Back to Bo Bardi’s buildings in Salvador. It seems to me that the situation is complicated at MAM; now it seems that the sculpture garden and the cinema are about to be reopened. A few days ago,  we saw that the roof has been completely rebuilt, while the pier is in a very precarious state. Certainly MAM has for a long time had a crucial role for the city, but, unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be true any longer. Nivaldo Vieira de Andrade Junior: I agree that in São Paulo the work of Lina Bo Bardi is better preserved than in Salvador, perhaps because in São Paulo four of her buildings have been listed by IPHAN, the Brazilian institution that protects cultural heritage. One more proof of this better care for her work in São Paulo is the recent reconstruction of her original display at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), as well as the ongoing conservation projects both at MASP and at the Glass House, where the Bardi couple used to live and is today the headquarters of the Instituto Bardi-Casa de Vidro. It is also important to note that both conservation projects are under a particularly qualified supervision, being supported by the Getty Foundation under the Keeping It Modern program. Moreover, in Salvador, it is not just about the actually disruptive changes on Bo Bardi's display design at MAM that you previously mentioned. It is also worth noticing the largely oversized ducts of the air conditioning system actually installed within Gregorio de Mattos Theater, where a polycarbonate "box" with a metal structure at the upper floor leads to a full misperception of the helical concrete staircase, including its red central pillar. GP: Let’s go on to consider another case in Salvador, the 2014 intervention on the Casa do Benin, a peculiar culture-crossing bridge connecting Africa and Brazil. There, the woven straw with which Bo Bardi covered the columns has been eliminated. Also, galvanized open channels for lighting purpose have been added apparently at random, sharing nothing with the pre-existing red painted ducts. The exhibition curated by Pierre Verger and designed by Bo Bardi has also been altered to include works of dubious value. Finally, the large palms in the external area have been replaced with small potted ones. I believe that in various places on the planet, this supposed maintenance intervention would not be accepted, given the outcome. Of course I agree that these works need to be listed by IPHAN. In addition, I believe that in order to intervene on Lina's works, so rich in intercultural references, appropriate scientific support is needed, at least to provide research materials. In this sense both Docomomo and Instituto Bardi-Casa de Vidro should play a role, somehow consolidating the work of the Getty Foundation’s “Keeping It Modern" program. ACB: Actually, I believe these interventions demonstrate a lack of proper understanding of Lina's work. Her design choices, from the more specific ones, such as the superimposition of woven straw on the columns of the Casa do Benin, to other more generic ones, such as the use of the thin-armed mortar walls developed by the architect João Filgueiras Lima at Ladeira da Misericórdia, respond not only to aesthetic issues, but also to technical and strategic ones. They are linked to the knowledge that Bo Bardi had about the role that architecture can play both within the city and in citizens' lives. Unfortunately, this kind of knowledge was not considered for the interventions we have mentioned here in Salvador. I believe that there is a lack of delicacy in these interventions, that neither properly conserve the existing buildings nor propose quality insertions. Both issues are needed to keep the buildings alive, which was an essential matter for Bo Bardi. NVA: Yes, the intervention carried out by the Municipality of Salvador at the Casa do Benin is definitely arguable, but at least it allows tourists and natives to visit the Casa. However, Bo Bardi's works at the Ladeira da Misericordia complex are in a dire state. Restaurante do Coaty, arguably her masterpiece in Salvador, has been closed for several years and, as a result, it is deteriorating. Next door "ruin of the three arches," as Lina called it, has serious infiltration problems, while the other three properties are barely used. Access to the Ladeira has even been forbidden by the Municipality, which blocked it off with gates after having turned it the exit route for its adjacent offices. The last time when it was possible to visit those works without special permission was two years ago, thanks to an installation created by artist Joãozito. This also demonstrates the Municipality of Salvador's lack of recognition of Lina Bo Bardi, particularly when considering her own architecture from a worldwide perspective, despite the relevance of the Ladeira da Misericordia among the Italian-Brazilian architect's works. Giacomo Pirazzoli teaches architectural design at DiDA-Department of Architecture, University of Florence, Italy. He is a 2017–2019 CAPES recipient at FAU-UPM School of Architecture, Mackenzie University, San Paulo, Brazil. Ana Carolina Bierrenbach teaches architectural design at FAU-UFBA, School of Architecture, Bahia Federal University, Brazil. She is a member of DoCoMoMo-Bahia. Nivaldo Vieira de Andrade Junior teaches architectural design at FAU-UFBA, School of Architecture, Bahia Federal University, Brazil. He is the president of IAB-Brazilian Institute of Architects. The article is available in Italian in Il Giornale dell’Architettura.
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UVA School of Architecture appoints Felipe Correa as new Chair of Architecture

The University of Virginia School of Architecture has appointed Felipe Correa as the Vincent and Eleanor Shea Professor and new chair of architecture. Correa is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Architecture in Urban Design program at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University. He will start the new position on July 25. Felipe Correa is a renowned architect, urbanist, author and professor. He founded and manages Somatic Collaborative, a research-based architecture, landscape and urbanism studio based in New York and Quito, Ecuador. Correa has been teaching at Harvard since 2008. Since 2009, he has served as director of the MAUD program of the GSD. His research, design and writing have been distributed widely. At Harvard, Correa was the co-founder and Principal Investigator of the South America Project, a trans-disciplinary platform that studies design issues of the South American continent. Correa is also releasing a new book in October titled the São Paulo: A Graphic Biography, which interrogates the Brazilian city’s fast-paced growth and socio-economic divide between the city’s financial center and its periphery in the post-industrial context. “As one of the leading scholars on architecture and urban design in Latin America, Felipe brings a wealth of knowledge, creativity and experience to UVA,” said Ila Berman, Dean of the School of Architecture, in a press release. “He will be a tremendous addition to the leadership team of the Architecture School and we’re extremely excited to welcome him to the community.” Correa succeeds Bill Sherman, Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Eminent Scholar Professor and current chair of architecture.  
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Oscar Niemeyer’s Pampulha Modern Ensemble added to UNESCO World Heritage List

The Pampulha Modern Ensemble, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, is among UNESCO's most recent additions to their World Heritage List. The project is representative of Niemeyer's contributions to 20th century architecture and a historically important example of modernism. Constructed around the man-made Lake Pampuhla in Brazil, the Pampuhla Modern Ensemble is a collection of leisure buildings built as part of an initiative to develop a suburban neighborhood around the lake. The complex includes a ballroom, yacht club, casino, a church, and a weekend retreat for the mayor. Pampuhla was one of Niemeyer's first projects, developed in 1940 when the architect was 33 years old. In fact, many consider it to be the first major example of modernism in the country by any architect. For the landscape of the complex, Niemeyer collaborated with landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, the first of several collaborations between the two pioneers of the modernist movement in Brazil. The buildings in the complex exemplify several of the design principles indicative of Niemeyer's work. One is the use of curved rather than straight lines, as seen in the domed cathedral and the freeform shapes of the ballroom. Another is the use of reinforced concrete as a building material, especially on the cathedral, which was considered innovative at the time. Its inclusion in an exhibit of Brazilian architecture at the MoMA brought the project international acclaim. Almost 50 years later, in 1988, Niemeyer was the recipient of the Pritzker Prize. His most famous work is within the city of Brasilia, which was founded in 1960 as the new capital of Brazil. Here Niemeyer designed the Cathedral of Brasilia as well as its Congress building and the Palacio de Planalto, the president's workplace. Brasilia is also a designated World Heritage Site, and the cathedral is especially considered to be a masterpiece. Niemeyer's work at Pampuhla, in fact, led to the architect working on Brasilia later in his career. The Pampuhla project was started by the mayor of Belo Horizonte, Juscelino Kubitschek, who would go on to be President of Brazil from 1956-1961. As president, Kubitschek would be responsible for the construction of Brasilia, and for hiring Niemeyer and urban planner Lucio Costa for its design. According to UNESCO, the project is a significant example of Niemeyer's ability to blend modernist architectural principles with the project's location, and shows the influence of Brazil's distinct climate and culture. Niemeyer was heavily influenced by Le Corbusier, whose work was also included on the World Heritage List in the latest round of additions.
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The Architectural League of New York announces 2016 Norden Fund winners

The Architectural League of New York has announced two winners for the 2016 Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grants. Claiming the award is Bryan Maddock for A Serpentine Science: Affonso Eduardo Reidy’s Housing Pair and Caitlin Blanchfield and Nina Kolowratnik for Deserted Border Lands: Mapping Surveillance along the Tohono O’odham Nation. As a result, the two teams will receive up to $5,000 annually in travel and study grants. Currently employed as a project designer for Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bryan Maddock is due to head to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on the hunt for a "socially responsive and environmentally sensitive housing typology" while looking at the legacy of Brazilian modernist architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy. Using "serpentine" social housing units, Reidy, like fellow compatriot Lina Bo Bardi, strove to unite his architecture with its natural context: dramatic, mountainous topography. Though he died at the age off 55, Reidy aimed to “elevate the working class both physically and symbolically.” Sadly, much of his work—including documents and drawings for unrealized projects—were destroyed by the state as his buildings were left to deteriorate. On his journey, Maddock will survey the landscape where Reidy's structures still remain. In doing so, Maddock hopes to establish an online visual archive of drawings, videos, and text. Reidy’s work “serves as proof that architecture can operate as a fantastic offense for the renewed city," he said. The other winning pair, Caitlin Blanchfield and Nina Kolowratnik meanwhile will head off to the border of Sonora, Mexico and the Tohono O’odham reservation, directly south of Phoenix in Arizona. Here they will analyze various aspects of the border area as more stringent security and surveillance measures are implemented on the sacred lands of the Tohono O'odam Native Americans. Using interviews, a community workshop, and drawings, the two will employ a interdisciplinary methodological approach to examine the “issues of spatial politics in border regions, indigenous rights, and critical landscape discourse.” Blanchfield is the managing editor at The Avery Review, meanwhile her partner for the project Kolowratnik works as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School for Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
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The work and philosophy of landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx is on display at the Jewish Museum

Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist is a retrospective exhibition that looks at the life and work of landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Born from a German father and a Brazilian mother, Marx, along with the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, adopted the ideals of the growing modernist movement in Brazil. Despite becoming an esteemed figure within the 20th century landscape architectural scene, today Marx is seldom recognized outside his homeland. His dedicated exhibition at the Jewish Museum seeks to change that, showcasing his modernist philosophy through a series of his drawings, photographs, textiles, jewelry, theater sets, costumes, ceramics, and stained glass. The selected works are intended to embody not only Marx’s modernist principles, but also his own ethos. During his 60-year career, Marx sought to mitigate the loss of the primeval garden and repair the rift between humanity and nature. As a result, his gardens (he produced more than 2,000) encouraged self-reflection while using artistic devices to address political issues such as ecology. In the exhibition, they are depicted as works of art, compiling abstract linear forms such as flat planes and using bold colors. The self-described “poet of his own life,” also left a legacy of influence, which the exhibition displays through a collection of Latin American artists born after 1950.

Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist is at the The Jewish Museum1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd St., through September 18, 2016.

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The Architect’s Newspaper interviews Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld

Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld is having a moment. He's designing the new Four Seasons Restaurant. He also has two large residential projects in the United States: the Jardim in New York near the High Line and the Fasano Hotel and Residences at the famous Shore Club in Miami Beach. His work displays a thoughtful relationship between interior and exterior—more specifically landscaping and architecture. It comes through in a large body of small residential and retail projects in Brazil but also in his more recent large residential projects. Senior editor Matt Shaw joined Weinfeld at the spectacular Manhattan showroom for the Jardim to discuss indoor-outdoor living in temperate climates such as Brazil and Miami, as well as places with a solid four seasons, like New York.

The Architect’s Newspaper: What is your approach to crafting the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces?

Isay Weinfeld: In many places where we design, the weather is so nice that we have a very strong connection between the two. It’s impossible to know if you’re having lunch inside or outside because it’s the same. In the Miami project, we have internal patios—you bring the garden inside the house. In our Havaianas store in São Paulo, the skylights are open so it can rain on the plants inside. It is on the most expensive street in the city, but they sell inexpensive flip-flops.

I love the sensation of going through a space but not knowing what is waiting for you at the end. Suddenly, it opens to an unusual space that you were not expecting. For example, at the Geneses House in São Paulo, you could enter the house directly from the street, but I made a pathway where you could also go into this garden at the back of the lot. It is very far. And when you are at the end, you turn and you see the back of the house—but it is not the back, it’s the front.

Where does this attitude come from?

I designed a house for a very important filmmaker, Héctor Babenco, and I put the garden in front of the house. Usually, I put it behind the house. But in this case, you enter from the street, and it’s a forest. You cannot see anything, and there is a path that is, like, five minutes of walking without seeing the house. The path is not covered. If it’s raining, then it’s raining.

Suddenly, you open to the house, and you are almost inside the house. This is like a film, because I was a filmmaker also. It’s a way to manipulate the emotion of people as they enter, go outside, and go inside.

So you use outdoor space as an extension of your architecture?

My architecture is very, very simple, so I hate having landscape design with the same minimal feeling, where you have one plant here, one there, one cactus here. I love lush. There should be a complete contrast between my architecture and the garden. It should be chaos like the High Line. I love the contrast between the chaos of the landscape and the very simple lines of the architecture.

Why is the outdoor space so important to a project like the Jardim, your midrise residential building along the High Line?

It is almost a consequence of the way that we put the two buildings, with an empty space in between. I think it’s better to have a wonderful garden with the kids that you can be in than a pavement, solid concrete, minimalist beautiful project without people. I think this is very agreeable for all people, for the kids, and even in New York. At the Jardim, this will be good also—even in the winter.

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Triptyque unveils São Paulo’s minhocão garden viaduct plans

  Brazilian and French firm Triptyque has unveiled their plans for a 2.2 mile vegetated viaduct in São Paulo, Brazil. Originally constructed in 1971, the Minhocão viaduct paved the way for modern automotive travel within the city. Now, despite being closed to vehicles between 9.30 p.m. and 6.30 a.m. and on all day Sundays, the area has become the heavily polluted.  Triptyque's green solution then, is fitting. As the city attempts to reclaim the highway, leasing it out to pedestrians, Triptyque has proposed lining the viaduct with dashes of greenery and vegetation to make it a more inviting space. Working alongside landscaper Guild Blanche, the scheme focuses on the Minhocão Marquise, the area underneath the roadway itself. Here, they envision a communal space for art, sports, and special events, with Triptyque driving home the idea that color and vibrancy are key components of the project. In doing so, they hope to counter the grayness of São Paulo and create a lively and pedestrian-friendly place. As part of the plan, the Marquise will be divided into blocks, each located within the 108 foot gaps between each pillar. These blocks will be numbered and labeled as the "posts" corresponding the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. As a result, each block will receive four programs: "culture, food, services and shops." These activities will be governed by a public-private partnership in which the São Paulo mayor and city authorities will play a curatorial role and oversee the general scheme. Light is also an important factor. Due to the nature of the site, little daylight enters the space. Vegetation will have to hangover the edges or be suspended in order to grow. This, however, works in the scheme's favor with greenery able to to filter 20% of carbon dioxide pollution from the cars above. Plants will be irrigated via a natural water harvesting system, meanwhile residual/excess water will be used to clean the Marquise surface. https://vimeo.com/160749242
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Studio Gang chosen to design U.S. embassy in Brazil

The State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has announced that Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects has been chosen to design a U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. This project will be part of the OBO’s ongoing Capital Security Construction Program, which has constructed 129 diplomatic facilities in the last 17 years. The Program also has 55 projects that are either in the design phase or under construction. The Studio Gang Embassy will be located in will be a multi-building campus on the existing 12-acre Chancery complex within the city’s “Diplomatic Sector.” The project will include the Marine Security Guard Residence, a chancery, support facilities, perimeter security, and other facilities for the Embassy community. Studio Gang was selected from a short list of six other offices. The State Department noted in its press release, “Studio Gang presented a strong and cohesive team approach with more than 20 years of collaborative experience executing projects with complex constraints at challenging sites.” This stage of the process was just a selection of the participating office. The design for the project will start in the coming months.
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Planned as a hotel, Zaha Hadid’s first project in South America is now a luxury residence

Zaha Hadid, with Arup and Mello Affonso Engineering, is executing her first project in South America. Casa Atlantica is a luxury residential building in Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. According to ARUP, Casa Atlantica was originally planned as a luxury hotel but changed to a residential building in order to meet the region's urban standards. The client, Brazilian entrepreneur Omar Peres, gave Hadid complete design liberty. She was, however, governed by strict requirements on height and proximity to neighbors. Zaha Hadid Architects' explained their response to these constraints: "Working within site restrictions governing the height and distance from adjacent buildings, Casa Atlantica's design establishes a fluid order defined by its structure which morphs and expands at each level to create balconies, while also dividing each floor into separate residential units." Casa Atlanta will be 18,000 feet-squared, have 12 floors, feature a rooftop swimming pool, and reach approximately 130 feet in height. Construction is set to begin in March. For further information, visit Zaha Hadid Architects' project page here.  
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Santiago Calatrava’s Museum of Tomorrow opens in Rio de Janeiro

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…. it’s a soaring, white Calatrava design in Rio de Janeiro. The Museu do Amanhã (The Museum of Tomorrow) opens December 18 on Maua Pier in the up-and-coming Puerto Maravilha neighborhood. Inspired by the endemic Carioca culture, "The idea is that the building feels ethereal, almost floating on the sea, like a ship, a bird or a plant. Because of the changing nature of the exhibits, we have introduced an archetypal structure inside the building. This simplicity allows for the functional versatility of the museum, able to accommodate conferences or act as a research space," Santiago Calatrava said in a press release. The museum’s content will focus on answering five questions: Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we? Where are we going? And how do we want to live together over the next 50 years? The 5,3820-square-foot structure is surrounded by an additional 8,1806-square-foot plaza that wraps around and extends out to the water, connecting it to the Guanabara Bay. A cantilevered roof extends into 246- and 148-foot-long overhangs facing the square and the bay respectively. Constructed in relation to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sao Bento Monastery, the height of the building was capped at 32 feet to protect the view monastery’s views of the surrounding landscape. In the museum, Calatrava created multiple opportunities for panoramic views of the monastery. The Museu do Amanhã is oriented on a north-south axis to create additional outdoor space along the pier for gardens, paths, green spaces, and a reflection pool. The pool will be used to filter water that is pumped in from the bay and then released back in. Water from the bay will also be used to regulate the building’s temperature, while solar panels will generate energy for the museum. A permanent exhibition, located on the second floor, will be curated by physicist and cosmologist Luiz Alberto Oliveira and designed by Ralph Appelbaum with Andrés Clerici. In addition, there will be temporary exhibitions, a 400-seat auditorium, a cafe, a restaurant, a gift shop, an educational lab, and the Observatory of Tomorrow, which will be a place for technological and scientific research. "The city of Rio de Janeiro is setting an example to the world of how to recover quality urban spaces through drastic intervention and the creation of cultural facilities,” Calatrava said in a press release.
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Pictorial> Twenty-one of the best pavilions from Milan Expo 2015

Milano Expo 2015 is rolling along, with 145 countries and a host of international organizations, civil society organizations, and corporations displaying their food-centric traditions and the latest sustainable agriculture and food production techniques. AN reported on the Expo when it opened:

a handful of designs...stand out as attempts to rethink the way we build and how it relates to modern agriculture and sustainable food production for the next century. Most of the pavilions use sustainable materials and construction methods that utilize national building techniques. Inside, exhibitions—often interactive—showcase biodiversity, culture, and food traditions of each nation.

Beyond the focus on food and agriculture, there is also a wealth of eye-catching architecture at the Milan Expo as well. Here is a collection of some of our favorite pavilions from this year's rendition. And be sure to check out our coverage of the Expo here.
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On View> Mexico City installation puts architecture on the sidewalk

Leave it to a pair of Brazilian architects to use reinforced concrete to reinvent small-scale urbanism. While North American designers turn to plywood and recycled palettes to create curbside seating, architects Fernando Falcón and Rodrigo Cerviño of the São Paulo–based practice TACOA Arquitetos shopped for rebar. Entitled Jardineira, Falcón and Cerviño’s installation is a cantilevered concrete planter and bench located on the busy Insurgentes Avenue in Mexico City. The work sits outside the architecture gallery LIGA, Space for Architecture on one of the city’s major thoroughfares. Founded in 2011, the gallery focuses on primarily on Latin American practices and Jardineira is the first time that an exhibition has left the 172-square-foot venue and directly addressed the street condition. The concrete installation mimics the existing street furniture, but with one exception: it tilts, seemingly dislodging itself from the sidewalk. “I knew it would be good when they wanted to bring in a structural engineer,” said architect Wonne Ickx, co-founder of LIGA and the architecture firm Productora. An emerging firm, TACOA believes that any work of architecture should serve as a pretext for interacting directly with the city. As their installation illustrates, they do this without abandoning disciplinary rigor or a formal language. The pair ground their work in the teachings of the Paulista School, the mid-century group of Brazilian architects that included Pritzker Prize–winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha and João Batista Vilanova Artigas. Designs from both architects are included in the current MoMA exhibition Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980While most would associate Brazilian architecture with the swoops of Oscar Niemeyer, the Paulista School embraced the grittier side of architecture with chunky, exposed concrete buildings. Similarly, Falcón and Cerviño find inspiration in the frictions and imperfections of urban life. Jardineira is on view at LIGA through August.