“The city has to be for everybody, not just for the very few.” –Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Brazilian architect, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, died this past weekend. He was 92. Though he hadn’t really completed many buildings outside of his home country, his work and his contributions to São Paulo are widely celebrated. Some of his accolades include the Mies van der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture (2000), the Pritzker Prize (2006), the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (2016), and the Royal Institute of British Architect’s Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (2017). I’ve always had a soft spot for Brazilian modernism. They were early adopters of European modernism and ultimately made it their own. I don’t think Mendes da Rocha would necessarily appreciate this classification, but as I’ve mentioned here before, modernism, and more particularly brutalism, took on very different qualities in Latin America. Exposed concrete just seems to hit differently in a tropical setting. Here and here are some examples of his more famous projects.
Photo by Leonardo Finotti via Dezeen