The first major retrospective to emerge from the archive of Paulo Mendes da Rocha, shining important new light on his work
One of the most acclaimed architects working in Brazil since the mid-twentieth century, Paulo Mendes da Rocha (1928–2021) began building in the 1950s, championing an approach often associated with “Brutalism” but expanding well beyond it. He is widely recognized for having transformed the urban imprint of São Paulo. His best-known buildings include the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture, remarkable for its engagement with the site and its daring structure; the renovation of the Pinacoteca do Estado, with audacious metallic inserts; and outstanding private houses, starting with his own. In 2006, he became the second Brazilian architect, after Oscar Niemeyer, to win the Pritzker Prize.
This retrospective catalogue is the first major publication on Mendes da Rocha since the establishment of his archive at the Casa da Arquitectura in 2021. A team of international scholars provides a comprehensive view of the architect’s trajectory and the collective dimension of his work, along with thematic essays. Mendes da Rocha’s identity as a South American architect interested in the geographic relation between nature and culture is underlined. The book’s contributors explore his concern with the social and anthropogenic impact of the continent’s development, as well as its colonial past and postcolonial future. The volume centers around twelve of his most important buildings and reprints two important essays on Mendes da Rocha’s work. This will be an essential book on this significant figure of global modernism and will point the way for future scholarship on Mendes da Rocha and the architecture of contemporary Brazil.
Distributed for Casa da Arquitectura–Portuguese Centre for Architecture
Casa da Arquitectura, Porto (May 26, 2023–February 25, 2024)
Jean-Louis Cohen is the Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts; his many books include Building a New New World. Vanessa Grossman is assistant professor with the Chair of Architecture & Dwelling at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology.
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