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Cristiano Mascaro

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Victor Legorreta: “Sometimes, Architects Take Themselves Too Seriously”

As the son of famed Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, and now the leader of the firm which he joined under his father in 1989, Victor Legorreta is one of Mexico’s most visible architects. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky’s “City of Ideas” series, Legorreta discusses the complexities of following in the footsteps of his father and how, in his view, good architecture is made.

Vladimir Belogolovsky: What kind of projects are you working on at this moment?

Victor Legorreta: We work on a variety of projects—about 60 percent are in Mexico and the rest are abroad. Mexico City is increasingly becoming a vertical city in its attempt to reverse its tendency of growing into an endless and dysfunctional sprawl. We are working on several mixed-use towers with retail, entertainment, restaurants, offices, and residential uses in a single building to enable people to find everything they need within easy reach, to lessen the pressure on traffic, which in the city is now among the worst in the world. We are also working with The Aga Khan Foundation on two projects—a university in Tanzania and a hospital and university in Uganda.

BBVA Bancomer Tower, 2016 / LEGORRETA + Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Image © Lourdes Legorreta Visual Arts Center, Santa Fe, 1999. Image © Lourdes Legorreta Papalote Children's Museum and Planetarium, 1993, planetarium 2003, renovation 2016. Image © Ma. Dolores Robles-Martinez Gómez Postgraduate Building, Faculty of Economics, UNAM, 2010. Image © Allen Vallejo + 59

RIBA Awards 2017 Royal Gold Medal to Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Update: Paulo Mendes da Rocha was today awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony at the RIBA headquarters in London. The article below was originally published when the award was announced on September 29, 2016.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded its 2017 Royal Gold Medal to Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The 87-year-old is among Brazil's most celebrated architects, known for his special brand of Brazilian Brutalism which has had a dramatic effect in his home country, particularly in the city of São Paulo. The award continues a spectacularly successful year for Mendes da Rocha, who won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale in May, and was announced the 2016 Premium Imperiale Laureate just weeks ago. Mendes da Rocha has also previously received the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and the Mies van der Rohe Prize for his Pinacoteca de São Paulo project in 2000.

Mendes da Rocha becomes the second Brazilian to win the RIBA's Gold Medal, after Oscar Niemeyer received the award in 1998. He joins other luminaries such as Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941).

20 Details of Stunning Small-Scale Structures

Throughout history, simple structures have constituted one of the most common forms of human expression. Small-scale housing, shelters, and viewpoints have been shaped by myriad materials that effectively created - depending on the techniques used - different forms of response to the same need.

Here is a compilation of 20 small-scale projects that stand out due to their small size and their simple, practical structures.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha: “Architecture Does Not Desire to Be Functional; It Wants to Be Opportune”

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's most celebrated architects. And, in spite of the fact that very little of his work can be found outside São Paulo, his “Paulista Brutalism” is revered worldwide, earning him the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and, just last week, the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal. In light of the RIBA Gold Medal news, as part of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky here shares an interview conducted with Mendes da Rocha in 2014. The interview was conducted in Mendes da Rocha's office in São Paulo with the help of Brazilian architect Wilson Barbosa Neto acting as translator, and was originally published in Belogolovsky's book, “Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity.”

Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image ©  Nelson Kon + 27

Luna Llena House / Candida Tabet Arquitetura

© Tuca Reinés © Tuca Reinés © Tuca Reinés © Cristiano Mascaro + 48

Houses  · 
José Ignacio, Uruguay
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Candida Tabet Arquitetura
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    1604.55 m2
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2006

Venice Biennale 2014: The Evolution of Brazilian Architecture to be on Display

Chosen to curate the Brazilian contribution at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, diplomat and architecture critic André Aranha Corrêa do Lago has revealed plans for an exhibition that will chronologically illustrate the evolution of Brazilian architecture.

180 projects will be exhibited, all of which have either played a significant role in the country’s architectural evolution, such as the pre-Colombian (Indian shacks), vernacular constructions and baroque designs, or have displayed a strong international influence, like the Capanema Palace, Pampulha and Brasília. In addition to this, 50 important personalities, including Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi, and Paulo Mendes da Rocha, will be highlighted for their assistance in spotlighting the importance of Brazilian architecture. 

Pavilion Hacienda Matao / LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA

© Cristiano Mascaro
© Cristiano Mascaro
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    3500.0 m2

© Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro + 10

4x4 Studio / Teresa Mascaro

© Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro + 22

Houses  · 
Carapicuíba, Brazil
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Teresa Mascaro
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2013

Ruy Barbosa Labor Courthouse / Decio Tozzi

© Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro © Cristiano Mascaro + 47

São Paulo, Brazil
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Decio Tozzi
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    12228.91 m2
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2004

Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi

Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi Veneza Farm Chapel / Decio Tozzi + 13

Chapel  · 
Valinhos, Brazil
  • Architects Authors of this architecture project Decio Tozzi
  • Architect Authors of this architecture project text, Decio Tozzi,
  • Area Area of this architecture project
    225.0 m2
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2002