Responsible use and consumption of natural resources and the impacts of the building industry have been ongoing concerns in the field of architecture and urban planning. In the past, concepts such as clean slates, mass demolitions, and building brand new structures were widely accepted and encouraged. Nowadays, a transformation seems to be taking place, calling for new approaches such as recycling, adaptive reuse, and renovations, taking advantage of what is already there. This article explores a selection of projects and provides a glimpse into interventions by renowned architects in pre-existing buildings.
Paulo Mendes Da Rocha: The Latest Architecture and News
One of the biggest names in Brazilian and worldwide architecture, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, passed away at the age of 92. As his son Pedro Mendes da Rocha reported to ArchDaily, the architect was hospitalized in São Paulo due to lung cancer and passed away at dawn on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
Paulo Mendes da Rocha will be remembered for the great formative role he had. His architectural creation debated life above all, raising questions and challenging ready ideas and conformity. He consolidated an influence short of language or aesthetics, formed mainly by the way of acting and thinking, in which each project was an opportunity for transformation. His ideas and designs overflowed the limits of the program, place and materiality, always bringing a new point of view to achieve revolutionary simplicity.
The International Union of Architects (UIA) has announced the UIA Gold Medal and Prizes winners. The UIA Gold Medal is awarded to Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, president of the 27th UIA World Congress of Architects — UIA2021RIO Honour Committee. The architect will also participate in a keynote speakers session programmed for July.
Paulo Mendes da Rocha, now 92 years old, has been honored with important awards, such as the Pritzker Prize in 2006, considered to be one of the world's premier architecture prizes, and the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, in 2016. Mendes da Rocha was the first Brazilian to be awarded this prize.
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.
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha donated his entire collection to Casa da Arquitectura - Portuguese Centre for Architecture based in Matosinhos, which is dedicated to preserving and sharing architectural documents. Considered to be the world's most renowned living Brazilian architect, he signed the contract with the institution last year in December, one month after being invited to donate the material.
The arrival of the entire Paulo Mendes da Rocha collection follows the donation of the National Coach Museum project in 2015, and of a set of seven projects for the Brazilian Architecture Collection in 2018. The material which now arrives at Casa da Arquitectura will be received by more than 30 employees dedicated to inventorying and organizing the thousands of items produced during his long professional life from the 1950s to the present day.
All space must be attached to a value, to a public dimension. There is no private space. The only private space that you can imagine is the human mind.
– Paulo Mendes da Rocha, May 26, 2004
Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's greatest architects and urbanists. Born in Vitória, Espírito Santo in 1928, Mendes da Rocha won the 2006 Pritzker Prize, and is one of the most representative architects of the Brazilian Paulista School, also known as "Paulista Brutalism" that utilizes more geometric lines, rougher finishes and bulkier massing than other Brazilian Modernists such as Oscar Niemeyer.
Mendes da Rocha and Al Borde among Winners of the XI Ibero-American Architecture and Urbanism Biennial (XI BIAU)
In Asunción (Paraguay), the XI Ibero-American Architecture and Urbanism Biennial (XI BIAU) have presented the winners of the Panorama de Obras section (Projects Panorama) of this contest edition, "all faithful to the spirit of the XI BIAU: living, the inhabitant," according to the organization.
Among 997 proposed works throughout Latin America, 17 architectural works —predominantly public projects— built in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela are the winners of the XI BIAU.
Architectural photographer Marc Goodwin recently visited Brazil to continue on his journey documenting the world's architecture offices. Expanding on his current list, he's already visited Panama City, the Netherlands, Dubai, London, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, the Nordic countries, Barcelona, and Los Angeles. In Brazil, Marc photographed 20 offices across a range of scales and project types. Find out more about the individual offices and the city they are a part of through Marc's feature.
More than 80,000 votes were cast over the last two weeks and, after careful review, the results of the 2019 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards presented by Unreal are in. Building of the Year, which itself celebrated ten years this year, is the largest peer-based crowdsourced architecture award in the world, showcasing the projects chosen by you, our readers, as the most significant of the year.
This is no mean feat. More than 4000 projects were in contention this year, challenging readers to carefully consider a wide variety of projects across type, scale, and location. 4000 projects were whittled to 75 finalists; 75 have now been reduced to the 15 winners - one for each typological category.
The results are as diverse as the architecture itself. Well-known names are, as in years past, present among the bunch, among them Zaha Hadid Architects, MVRDV, and Heatherwick Studio. For London-based Heatherwick, their win marks the second consecutive year they have taken top honors for a refurbishment-based project. But less-renowned names dominate the ranks of the winners this year. Innocad’s serenely simple office building for a real estate company elevates what corporate architecture can be while the technical and material mastery of Sameep Padora’s Maya Somaiya Library is enough to make any architect look twice. The library is, in fact, one of two Indian projects to take top honors this year - a strong first year showing for the nation whose design talent seems finally to be coming to the fore.
But for all their many beautiful differences, the winners share a crucial element in common: they represent the values of our mission, to bring inspiration, knowledge, and tools to architects everywhere. Building of the Year - indeed, ArchDaily itself - would not be possible without the generosity of firms and readers as invested in our mission as we are. We give our profound thanks to all who participated this year, no matter the form. Congratulations to all the winners!
Of Le Corbusier's five points of modern architecture (the ribbon window, free design of the façade and ground plan, a roof garden, and pilotis), pilotis are perhaps the most used element in Brazilian modern architecture.
Today we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Paulo Mendes da Rocha. With a unique integrity in his thinking and design, his career has already been celebrated with the highest awards an architect can receive, from the Pritzker Prize in 2006 to the 2018 Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale and the Praemium Imperiale in 2016. Here, instead of presenting his impressive projects, we have asked architects to share some of their stories, talk about his practice and how his thinking has influenced them.
6 Projects in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and USA Selected as Finalists for the 2018 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize
Minutes ago in Detroit, Director Dirk Denison and 2018 MCHAP Jury Chair Ricky Burdett announced the six finalists of the 2018 edition of the Mies Crown Hall America Prize. Selected from a longer list of 31 projects announced earlier this summer in Venice, these outstanding works of architecture will compete for the top honor, the MCHAP Award, which will be announced in October. The authors of the winning award will take home $50,000 to fund research and a publication and will be recognized as the MCHAP Chair in IIT’s College of Architecture.
The six finalist buildings were completed between January 2016 and December 2017. The descriptive texts, provided by the MCHAP jury, celebrate the merits of each individual project.
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo / Paulo Mendes da Rocha + Eduardo Colonelli + Weliton Ricoy Torres
For some practitioners of architecture, the insatiable desire to draw everything, from the largest to the smallest to take full control of the project, echoes the famous phrase uttered by Mies Van Der Rohe: "God is in the details." Similarly, designing furniture provides another creative outlet for in-depth exploration of human-scale works of architecture.
Throughout the history of the Brazilian Architecture, and especially since the modernist movement, architects not only became known for their building designs, but also for their detailed chairs and tables. Several of these pieces of furniture were initially designed for a specific project and then went into mass production due to their popularity.
In celebration of Paulo Mendes da Rocha's 89th birthday, we take a look at "PMR 29': Twenty-Nine Minutes with Paulo Mendes da Rocha", directed by Carolina Gimenez, Catherine Otondo, João Sodré, José Paulo Gouvêa and Juliana Braga.
The film is conducted through a conversation with Rocha, held in his office in 2010. In presenting some of his main works, the architect makes considerations about the understanding of architecture in its human and essentially cultural dimension.
Designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha in partnership with MMBB office, the project intervenes an old department store, transforming the interior spaces from the existing structure and creating a new central structure that supports a pool on the rooftop.
In all but the most optimistic architect's career, there will be moments you come across doubts and insecurities about our profession. It is in these moments where the wisdom of the greats who have come before us can help provoke the inspiration needed to face the challenges proposed by architecture and urbanism.
Needing an architectural pick-me-up? Check out some advice from Alejandro Aravena, Álvaro Siza, César Pelli, Francis Kére, Jeanne Gang, Norman Foster and Paulo Mendes da Rocha after the break.