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.
Iwan Baan’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 favelas 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.
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 Sao Paulo’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 Sao Paulo is that rarest of luxuries: a public green space.
In this article, which originally appeared on AIArchitect, Sara Fernández Cendón discusses the opportunities and challenges for US architects who are taking advantage of Brazil’s infrastructure 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.
Architects: Studio MK27 – Marcio Kogan + Suzana Glogowski
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra
Architects: MMBB Arquitetos, H+F Arquitetos
Location: Avenida Engenheiro Luís Carlos Berrini – Itaim Bibi, São Paulo, Brazil
Mmbb Arquitetos Team: Marta Moreira, Milton Braga e Fernando de Mello Franco
H+F Arquitetos 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
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’.
A true legacy in the field of architecture and beyond, Oscar Niemeyer, who died just this past December at the age of 104, has traveled into the heart of many, one of which is graffiti artist Eduardo Kobra. 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.