Sao Paulo: 5 Great Buildings

Producers Monstro Filmes have shared with us a gorgeous animation: an homage to the city of and its five major architectural icons.

São Paulo: 5 Grandes Construções (Sao Paulo: 5 Great Buildings) highlights the Martinelli Building, Banespa, MASP, COPAN and Unique. Clearly inspired by ”Chicago – Five Great Buildings,” by Al Boardman, the video uses simple, fluid lines to represent and reveal each building’s unique form.

Why Iwan Baan’s TED Talk Was Right

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’s recent TED talk on ingenious informal settlement ‘architecture’ became instantly popular, clearly striking a chord with people across the globe. The lecture has been called everything from heartwarming to condescending, but for Parsons graduate students Meagan Durlak and James Frankis it was reaffirming. Durlak and Frankis have spent time working in Sao Paolo’s and understand that finding a balance between the good and the bad is key to the revitalization of these settlements. This article, originally published in Metropolis Magazine as “Response to Iwan Baan’s TED Talk,” journals some of their experiences working in South American slums, and why we need to stop treating those slums as a blight. 

Meagan Durlak and I were excited to see the TED talk by architectural photographer Iwan Baan on the ingenuity found within informal settlements. In his presentation he walks us through a range of communities across the world, capturing many such settlements, including houses above a lagoon and a repurposed office block.

Baan’s view of informal settlements resonates with our own work; it’s an under-told story that we very much applaud. He shows an overview of people’s lives and their unique methods for adapting to difficult conditions. Perhaps as interesting as his film are the reactions to it from TED viewers. Many found the innovation in informal settlements to be inspiring and heartwarming; others claimed that this talk is just a life affirming story for the rich 1% of the world, perpetuating inaction for areas which need immediate aid. The two sides of the argument reminded us of our own work and the battles we have gone through in trying to wrap our heads around the systems of informal settlements, as well as the difficulties we have had in explaining their hidden properties to others.

Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE) / Paulo Mendes da Rocha

© Paul Clemence

Keep an eye out, or you might miss the Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (a.k.a. MuBE, pronounced MOO-bee). Widely considered the masterpiece of Pritzker Prize-winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha, the building was in fact born out of the desire to have no building at all. When in the 1980s an empty lot in ’s mansion-laden Jardins district was slated to become a shopping mall, wealthy residents successfully lobbied to create a public square instead. To sweeten the deal and ensure the land stayed commercial-free, they hired Mendes de Rocha to create MuBE. Completed in 1995, the 7000-sq-meter museum hunkers down beneath ground level, thus preserving what in is that rarest of luxuries: a public green space.

Fernando Jaeger Store / SuperLimão Studio

© Maíra Acayaba

Architects: SuperLimão Studio
Location: São Paulo,
Project Area: 605 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Maíra Acayaba

360° Building / Isay Weinfeld

© FG+SG

Architects: Isay Weinfeld
Location: São Paulo,
Project Manager: Elena Scarabotolo
Design Team: Gabriel Bicudo, Manoel Maia
Collaborators: Domingos Pascali, Marcelo Alvarenga
Area: 2,797 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: FG+SG

Working in Brazil: The Pros & Cons

View of Rio De Janeiro. Image © SCIENTIFANTASTIC

In this article, which originally appeared on AIArchitectSara Fernández Cendón discusses the opportunities and challenges for US architects who are taking advantage of ’s development boom, particularly in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Until Brazil was selected to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016, only three countries had hosted both events back-to-back. Successful bids for either event are usually equal parts proof that the country already has what it takes and a promise that it will do whatever else necessary to make things run smoothly.

In Brazil’s case, the “promise” part has generated a handful of projects for architectural firms around the world; Populous is responsible for conceptual design a stadium in the city of Natal, for example. And some observers believe that World Cup building delays could generate a rush of last-minute opportunities for foreign construction professionals. But even if these two headline-grabbing events haven’t been fully planned and designed by foreigners new to Brazil, the country is evolving into an emerging market for American architects, built on its intense thirst for upgraded commercial and transit infrastructure.

Cube House / Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Suzana Glogowski

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra

Architects: Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + 
Location: São Paulo,
Architect In Charge: Marcio Kogan
Collaborators: Maria Cristina Motta, Mariana Simas
Project Team: Carolina Castroviejo, Eduardo Glycerio, Gabriel Kogan, Lair Reis, Oswaldo Pessano, Renata Furlanetto, Samanta Cafardo
Area: 540 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra

Jardim Edite Social Housing / MMBB Arquitetos + H+F Arquitetos

© Nelson Kon

Architects: MMBB Arquitetos, H+F Arquitetos
Location: Avenida Engenheiro Luís Carlos Berrini – Itaim Bibi, São Paulo,
Mmbb Arquitetos Team: Marta Moreira, Milton Braga e Fernando de Mello Franco
Team: Eduardo Ferroni e Pablo Hereñú
Mmbb Collaborators: Eduardo Martini, Marina Sabino, Giovanni Meirelles, Cecilia Góes, Gleuson Pinheiro Silva, Adriano Bergemann, André Rodrigues Costa, Maria João Figueiredo, Martin Benavidez, Naná Rocha, Tiago Girao, Guilherme Pianca, Giselle Mendonça, Eduardo Pompeo, Rafael Monteiro e Lucas Vieira
H+F Collaborators: Tammy Almeida, Joel Bages, Natália Tanaka, Diogo Pereira, Gabriel Rocchetti, Danilo Hideki, Thiago Benucci, Mariana Puglisi, Luca Mirandola, Thiago Moretti, Luisa Fecchio, Bruno Nicoliello, Renan Kadomoto e Carolina Domshcke
Project Area: 25714.0 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Nelson Kon

AP 1211 / Alan Chu

© Djan Chu

Architects: Alan Chu
Location: São Paulo,
Design Team: Anita Meduna
Area: 25 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Djan Chu

BT House / Studio Guilherme Torres

© Denilson Machado

Architects: Studio Guilherme Torres
Location: Sao Paulo,
Landscape: Alex Hanazaki
Year: 2012
Photographs: Denilson Machado

New Cities Summit 2013: ‘The Human City’

We are living through the most rapid and significant phase of urbanization in human history. By 2030, more than 60% of the world’s population – 5 billion people – will live in cities. To understand and act upon this mega trend, the New Cities Foundation hosts the New Cities Summit, the leading global platform for urban innovation and exchange. Each year, the Summit gathers 1,000 of the world’s brightest thinkers and decision-makers for action-oriented debate, information sharing and problem solving. São Paulo is the vibrant location of this year’s event. The theme this year: The Human City, placing the individual and the community at the heart of discussions on our urban future. 
How will this urban planet alter the human experience? For ‘We the Urban People’, what specific issues can we grapple with today to ensure that tomorrow’s metropolis is a positive place to live and work? 
To find out more about the we interviewed John Rossant, founder and chairman of the New Cities Foundation. Interview after the break.

CASA REX / FGMF Arquitetos

© Rafaela Netto

Architects: FGMF Arquitetos
Location: São Paulo, SP,
Architects In Charge: Fernando Forte, Lourenço Gimenes, Rodrigo Marcondes Ferraz
Project Area: 603 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Rafaela Netto

Brasiliana Library / Rodrigo Mindlin Loeb + Eduardo de Almeida

© Ricardo Amado

Architects: Rodrigo Mindlin Loeb + Eduardo de Almeida
Location: Biblioteca Brasiliana, Cidade Universitária, USP, Brazil
Project Area: 21,950 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Ricardo Amado

Manish Restaurant / ODVO arquitetura e urbanismo

© Pregnolato e Kusuki estúdio Fotográfico

Architects: ODVO arquitetura e urbanismo
Location: São Paulo,
Project Architects: Carol Kaphan Zullo (Mínima Arquitetura e Urbanismo), Omar Mohamad Dalank y Victor Oliveira Castro ()
Area: 472 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Pregnolato e Kusuki estúdio Fotográfico

Praça das Artes / Brasil Arquitetura

© Nelson Kon

Architects: Brasil Arquitetura
Location: Rua Conselheiro Crispiniano, São Paulo,
Architects In Charge: Francisco Fanucci e Marcelo Ferraz com Luciana Dornellas
Project Area: 28,500 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Nelson Kon

K House / Studio Arthur Casas

© FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Architects: Studio Arthur Casas
Location: , Brasil
Architects In Charge: Arthur Casas, Regiane Khristian e Beto Cabariti
Area: 566.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sergio Guerra

Escola da Cidade Last Call for Post Graduation 2013

Courtesy of

Only a few days are left to apply to São Paulo’s Escola da Cidade – School of Architecture and Urbanism. Since 2009, the college has offered specialization courses; this year it is offering two non-degree graduate courses under the theme of  ”American Civilization – A Look through Architecture” ‘Housing and City’ and ‘Geography, City and Architecture’. 

Graffiti Artist’s Mural Honors Oscar Niemeyer

© Nacho Doce (Reuters)

A true legacy in the field of architecture and beyond, , who died just this past December at the age of 104, has traveled into the heart of many, one of which is graffiti artist . In honor of the Brazilian architect, Kobra created a 61-yard art piece on the side of a building in Sao Paulo’s financial district. The immense, colorful mural cannot be missed as people pass by and admire the work. Expressing Niemeyer’s love for concrete, curves and Le Corbusier, the mural truly encompasses the architect’s aim to, “…produce an architecture that serves everyone and not just a group of privileged people.” More images can be viewed after the break.