PAULO MENDES DA ROCHA'S COLLECTION AT PORTUGAL’S CASA DE ARQUITECTURA
The collection of the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Pritzker Prize 2006, was integrated in the Archive of Casa da Arquitectura – Portuguese Centre for Architecture. The arrival of the entire Paulo Mendes da Rocha collection follows the donation, in 2015, of the National Coach Museum project and, in 2018, of a set of seven projects for the Brazilian Architecture Collection.
Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s collection includes all the material produced during his long professional life, from the 1950s to the present day. This incorporation encompasses nearly 8,800 items, relating to more than 320 projects and comprises: approx. 6,300 analogue drawings; approx. 3,000 photographs and slides; approx. 300 publications; and a set of models made by the architect himself
For the Executive Director of Casa da Arquitectura, Nuno Sampaio, the arrival of this collection is a reason “of great satisfaction, due to the availability of Paulo Mendes da Rocha in acceding to our challenge to incorporate the totality of his collection in CA, completing the two previous donations.” And he adds: “Casa da Arquitectura is committed to maintain the unicity of the collection, presenting it to the world through its digital platforms and sharing and making available to researchers, students, universities at zero cost, promoting the study, publication and research on this very important work.”
Casa da Arquitectura will hold a monographic Exhibition dedicated to the architect in mid-2022, whose curatorial team will include architect Catherine Otondo, who was involved in the collection inventory process together with architect Berta Oliveira.
The collection will integrate the Casa’s Archive Digital Platform, which will be launched later this year, and will allow universal access to all documents. For research and study purposes, Casa also provides high resolution images free of charge, thus promoting research and the development of knowledge about the work of the Brazilian architect.
Sampaio considers that “the work of Paulo Mendes da Rocha is recognized for its merit and quality throughout the world, adding to it a recognized and published universal thought”. And he concludes: “He could have chosen any institution in the world to incorporate his collection, so I am delighted that he has chosen to integrate it into Casa da Arquitectura - Portuguese Centre for Architecture.”
Paulo Mendes da Rocha was born in 1928 in Vitória, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, and graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the Mackenzie University, in São Paulo, in 1954. He has an extensive work that has been distinguishing itself since 1957, with the construction of the Club Athletico Paulistano, his first reference work. With it, he won the Presidency of the Republic Grand Prize of the VI São Paulo Bienal. In 1969, he executed the project for the Official Pavilion of Brazil at Expo 70, in Osaka, Japan, together with Flávio Motta, Júlio Katinsky and Ruy Ohtake, and was among the finalists awarded in the competition for the preliminary project of the Georges Pompidou Cultural Centre, in Paris (1971). In 2006, Mendes da Rocha received the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The jury cited his “deep understanding of the poetics of space” and an “architecture of profound social engagement.” Mendes da Rocha is also a Golden Lion recipient for lifetime achievement at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016
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