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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Democracy

Democracy: The Latest Architecture and News

Brazilian Projects Celebrating Democratic Spaces

In recent years, several movements in Brazil and around the world have contributed significantly to society by emphasizing the need to occupy public spaces in the cities to claim quality and freedom of use for the community. The Ocupe Estelita movement in Recife, Brazil, for example, confronted the growing real estate speculation in the region and challenged the aggressive commercial urban planning on the banks of the Capibaribe River. Based on cases like this one, professor, critic, and curator Guilherme Wisnik, in an interview with Fora, addressed the issue of public space as a place of conflict.

Praça das Artes. © Nelson KonSesc Pompeia. © Pedro KokImage Cortesia de USINA CTAH. ImageVista do Mutirão Paulo FreireSesc 24 de Maio. © Flagrante / Romullo Fontenelle+ 13

Transparent Buildings and the Illusion of Democracy

Somewhere between 1914 and 1915, Le Corbusier designed the Maison Dom-Ino, a groundbreaking modular structure that replaced the heavy load-bearing walls with reinforced concrete columns and slabs. The open floor plan with minimal thin elements, coupled with large glass facades, would ensure healthy natural daylight for the interior spaces as well as desirable architectural transparency that could blur the boundaries between interior and exterior —at least metaphorically.

Reichstag, Berlin. Photo by Moritz Lüdtke, via UnsplashParis Courthouse / Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Photo: © Sergio GraziaNew City Hall in Buenos Aires / Foster + Partners. Courtesy of Foster + PartnersMOdA Headquarters of the Paris Bar Association / Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Photo: © Sergio Grazia+ 9