After receiving Paulo Mendes da Rocha's complete collection in 2020, Casa da Arquitectura - Portuguese Center for Architecture, based in the city of Matosinhos, has just received Lucio Costa's estate. The donation was made by the family of the Brazilian architect and urban planner and includes about eleven thousand documents produced between 1910 and 1998.
The collection includes various types of documents such as correspondence, newspaper articles, clippings, magazines, posters, photographs, family albums, postcards, maps, plans, sketches, drawings, and notes on many different supports such as envelopes, the backs of calendars, draft sheets, and business cards. The material relates to Lucio Costa's career as a liberal professional and as director of the Division of Studies and Listing of Historic Landmarks of the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Service (SPHAN), today the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN).
“It is an honor and a distinction for CA to welcome the heritage of this unique modernism figure,” says the President of the Institution, José Manuel Dias da Fonseca. Projects such as Brasilia’s Plano Piloto, or Pilot Plan, stand out in the collection, with pre-competition texts and drawings and the elements later delivered by Lucio Costa, but also Casa do Brasil, in Paris, the Jockey Club in Rio de Janeiro, the Mission Museum, the Brazil Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, among many others.
“This donation carries a huge responsibility and the commitment of Casa da Arquitectura to manage, archive, and promote the study of such a remarkable collection,” comments Executive Director Nuno Sampaio. Five sketchbooks and notebooks with a total of 305 pages documenting Lucio’s trips to Portugal in 1948 and 1952 stand out in the set of documents.
The collection now in Portugal is organized in different themes: Personal References, Projects, Written Works, Correspondence, Photographic Records, Publications and academic works on Lucio Costa, and other activities (teaching, national historical and artistic heritage, congresses and conferences, drawing and painting).
Casa da Arquitectura states that they are committed to maintaining the uniqueness of the estate, ensuring conservation and promotion through their Digital Platform, which will be launched shortly. According to the Institution, all documentation is now being processed and scanned. Casa will also provide high-resolution images to foster new research and studies.
Back in October 2020, ArchDaily interviewed Executive Director of Casa da Arquitectura, Nuno Sampaio, about the donation of Paulo Mendes da Rocha's collection to the Institution in Portugal.