Rio de Janeiro: The Latest Architecture and News
A few weeks ago, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) named the recipient of the RIBA Norman Foster 2023 travel grant. Martha Pomasonco from Peru was awarded for her outstanding project titled "Barrios Mejorados."
The research project that impressed the jury aims to explore the impact of highly successful informal settlement improvement initiatives implemented in various Latin American countries. Its primary objective is to uncover valuable design insights related to social and environmental sustainability. The research is founded on the recognition that Latin America is the most urbanized region globally, with approximately 80% of its population residing in cities. Nevertheless, nearly 15% of this urban population resides in informal settlements marked by inadequate infrastructure and a diminished quality of life. Various improvement programs have been implemented, and the active involvement of citizens has been a crucial factor in enhancing their effectiveness.
Architectural styles have fallen out of favor throughout history. Generally, the peak of one movement means the decline of another. Over time, the situation may reverse, as in the case of postmodernism, which has divided opinions since its emergence, but experienced a revival in the first decades of the 2000s (or maybe not). Temporal distance contributes to the revision of certain styles' relevance and evaluation of their qualities - or problems.
The Copacabana calçada (Copacabana sidewalk) is one of the greatest symbols in the stunning landscape of Rio de Janeiro. What not everyone knows is that its history (and design) precedes the intervention of Roberto Burle Marx in the 1970s. The origin of the design, as well as its stones, is Portuguese.
UNESCO has named Copenhagen the World Capital of Architecture for 2023, following Rio de Janeiro’s inaugural hold of the title. Besides hosting the International Union of Architect’s World Congress, the initiative also aims to highlight the path to a more sustainable future and the role architecture and urban planning play in achieving this goal. The title is awarded triannually.
Denmark has continually topped the survey for the happiest countries, according to the World Happiness Report. For urban designers, Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has become one of the most cited case studies regarding carbon-neutral infrastructure, pedestrian and bike-friendliness, and the outstanding qualities of its public realm. According to the Dansk Arkitektur Center, over 10,000 architects are expected to visit Copenhagen in the following year, to join the guided tours, exhibitions, debates, and cultural events that put design and architecture in the spotlight.
In the midst of programmatic diversity and experimentation, the Rio de Janeiro office gru.a is an encouragement to those who wish to venture into the expanded field of architecture. Formed by partners Caio Calafate and Pedro Varella in 2013, gru.a demonstrates the potential of the profession when it dialogues with other disciplines.
Technical precision combined with environmental concern and exploratory and investigative character make Carla Juaçaba one of the great representatives of Latin American architecture today. Carioca, born in 1976, Carla Juaçaba attended the University of Santa Úrsula and attributes much of her experimental and interdisciplinary style to this educational institution. It is not by chance that during her academic training her great inspiring masters were the architect Sergio Bernardes and the visual artist Lygia Pape, insinuating her interest in the multiple disciplinary branches that can compose architecture. In this sense, while still at graduation, Carla worked together with architect Gisela Magalhães, from Oscar Niemeyer’s generation, in scenography and expography projects.
With a production inspired by the legacy of Sérgio and Claudio Bernardes, from Rio, Bernardes Arquitetura is “fruit of a history that spans three generations with more than a thousand projects”. Created in 2012 by Thiago Bernardes, the office has over 7 partners and branches in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Lisbon.
Intense integration between the built environment and its natural context: this is the premise that surrounds the projects of Jacobsen Arquitetura, from Rio de Janeiro. Founded 45 years ago, the office emerged from the union between architects Paulo Jacobsen and Cláudio Bernardes, who worked together until Bernardes' death in 2001. After that, Paulo joined forces with Thiago, Cláudio's son, starting a new office. The partnership with Thiago Bernardes fell apart in 2012, giving rise to the formation of Jacobsen Arquitetura, whose partners are Paulo and Bernardo Jacobsen (Paulo’s son) and Edgar Murata.