Brazil: Modern Architectures in History (Reaktion Books - by Richard J. Williams

By Richard J. Williams

Set opposed to a backdrop of breathtaking usual good looks, Brazil’s outstanding modernist structure has lengthy garnered foreign acclaim. yet those famous works usually are not absolutely reflective of the outfitted surroundings of Brazil, and with this quantity, Richard Williams finds the wealthy architectural history of Brazil. Spanning from 1945 via this day, the ebook examines Brazilian structure past the works of popular architects reminiscent of Oscar Niemeyer and the “Carioca” architects of Rio de Janeiro. Williams investigates matters akin to using old structure, the significance of relaxation and comfort, the function of the favela as a backdrop and suggestion for improvement, and the fast progress of towns. From the specified global background website of Brasilia—a capital urban that was once deliberate from the floor up—to the install paintings of artists akin to Hélio Oiticica, Brazil delves into the origins and far-reaching impact of Brazil’s architectural modernism. At a second whilst Latin the USA is of accelerating value in worldwide enterprise and tradition, Brazil may be a vital learn for all students of structure and Latin American historical past.

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36 Such writers stood in opposition to the utopianism of the earlier generation and its projects such as Brasília, which they regarded as facile and self-serving. In place of grand utopian projects erected in the name of those in power, they proposed engagement with the poor and dispossessed in the form of cultural acts that would leave no material monument, but (they hoped) would quietly revolutionize Brazilian culture. In Boal’s tough and radical work, which has been widely performed outside Brazil, theatre becomes a tool for the resolution of conflict in real-life situations.

Many of the most admired structures of the colonial period were openly a means of maintaining a feudal slave 36 Charles Henry Driver, Luz railway station, São Paulo, 1897–1900. Big Ben meets Portuguese Baroque. Francisco Marcelino de Sousa Aguiar, Biblioteca Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, 1905–10. society, yet their advocates were in most other respects politically progressive. One of the few architects to recognize the difficulty was Henrique Mindlin (1911–1971). For him, colonial architecture was severe, solid, unadorned.

The revived Niemeyer has been stripped of his communism. The second cause is less concrete, perhaps. The first great period of interest in Brazil coincided with its emergence in the world as both an economic power and a democracy. The ‘disappearance’ of Brazil from international discourse coincides, arguably, with the period of military rule, when from 1964 onwards Brazil and Brazilian culture became inward-looking and xenophobic. The revival of Brazil in architectural terms is coincident with the return to democracy, but more than that, its entry into a globalized world of trade and the consolidation of its economy, particularly under Cardoso and Lula.

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