CASA DA ARQUITECTURA PRESENTS TWO EXHIBITIONS BY PAULO MENDES DA ROCHA
Four years after de donation of Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s entire archive to Casa da Architectura, the Portuguese Center for Architecture presented two simultaneous exhibtions, a book and a ten-month parallel program of activities around the artist’s principles, aesthetics and ethics.
First Honorary Member of Casa da Arquitectura and an old friend of the institution, Paulo Mendes da Rocha is now the subject of an extended tribute that evokes various aspects of his personality, from the man who ponders the world to the architect who builds it.
Constructed Geographies: Paulo Mendes da Rocha
The exhibition proposes a promenade through an oeuvre which spans seven decades, unveiling twelve major projects, from the most inventive domestic confines to his far-reaching designs for the rivers and the territories of South America. New videos explore their inner and outer spaces, perceived in the everyday life of Brazilian cities. Architectural models punctuate the gallery, including Mendes da Rocha’s compelling originals in paper or cardboard and new interpretations of his major buildings. They contribute to the discovery of a unique saga of contemporary design. Curated by Jean-Louis Cohen and Vanessa Grossman.
Paulo: Beyond Drawing
The second exhibition of Paulo Mendes da Rocha presents his thoughts and his position regarding Life, Humanity and the Profession, which are the basis of the work he left us as an architect. Paulo: Beyond Drawing offers visitors a conversation with him, so that, in an intimate way, without filters or interpretations, they can listen to him talk about the most varied subjects, expressing what he thought, what moved him and what he fought for. The aim is to share an experience that many of those who were able to have contact with him will never forget.
One of the most acclaimed architects of contemporary Brazil, Paulo Mendes da Rocha (1928–2021) began building in the 1950s, championing an approach that expanded well beyond brutalism. Embedded in Brazil’s urban culture, his works condense a constant concern for natural resources and materials from the Earth. His critical consideration of the Americas and the planet at large crystallises the geographic interplay of culture and nature. It reflects his imaginative engagement with the social and anthropogenic impact of the continent’s development as well as its colonial past and postcolonial future. Thanks to his mastery of structural principles and building techniques, he has constructed a unique response to these challenges. In 2006, Paulo Mendes da Rocha became the second Brazilian architect, after Oscar Niemeyer, to win the Pritzker Prize.