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Material and Immaterial Poetry: The Work of Lina Bo Bardi

Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi is one of the most important figures of Brazilian design. Her ability to blend architecture, politics and popular culture made her an icon throughout the country and world, while her relentlessness to break from traditionalisms made Brazil the ideal location for her work.

Bo Bardi's architecture incorporates both materiality and culture. In addition to the concrete and solidified elements, she designed pieces based on cultural factors and intense political discussions. She wished to break the barriers between intellectuals and everyday people.

AD Classics: Pennsylvania Station / McKim, Mead & White

This article was originally published on February 11, 2014. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

New York City’s original Pennsylvania Station was a monument to movement and an expression of American economic power. In 1902, the noted firm McKim, Mead and White was selected by the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad to design its Manhattan terminal. Completed in 1910, the gigantic steel and stone building covered four city blocks until its demolition in 1963, when it ceded to economic strains hardly fifty years after opening.

© wikimedia commonsTrack level and concourses. Image © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company CollectionConcourse from South, 1962. Image © Cervin Robinson - Historic American Buildings SurveyFacade from Northeast. Image © Cervin Robinson - Historic American Buildings Survey+ 40

AD Classics: Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery London / Venturi Scott Brown

Venturi Scott-Brown’s National Gallery Sainsbury Wing extension (1991) was born into a precarious no-man’s land between the warring camps of neo-Modernists and traditionalists who had been tussling over the direction of Britain’s cities for much of the prior decade. The site of the extension had come to be one of the most symbolic battlefields in British architecture since a campaign to halt its redevelopment with a Hi-Tech scheme by Ahrends Burton Koralek had led to that project’s refusal at planning in 1984.

The 'Echo Façade'. Image © Valentino Danilo MatteisGround floor lobby with rustication. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis© Valentino Danilo MatteisStairway. Image © Valentino Danilo Matteis+ 17