Richard Powers is an exemplary photographer of residential interiors and Dominic Bradbury is a fluent writer. They've collaborated before, to great advantage, on The Iconic House and The Iconic Interior, but they are unable to strike a spark with this new collection. Layout, graphics, and landscapes are undeniably beautiful, but too much of the architecture seems to be no more than a standard-issue retreat from a frenzied city or a foil to nature. And the interiors feel inert, as though they were expensive showrooms, never to be inhabited by real people.
Entries in Brazil (6)
By Michael Webb
Niemeyer aside, Latin American architecture has received far too little attention in the US, so this scholarly monograph on Lina Bo Bardi (1914-92) is especially welcome. It examines the career of an architect who won attention as a critic and designer in her native Italy, moved to Brazil in 1946, and struggled to realize a radical vision. In her 45 years of residence, she completed only 14 projects, but they include a house of rare distinction and two major public works, all in the city of São Paolo. The MASP Museum of Modern Art comprises glass-walled galleries suspended from two massive, long-span concrete frames, shading a public plaza and revealing the park beyond. The SESC Pompeia Leisure Center is an adult play structure: two raw concrete volumes linked with bridges and lit from biomorphic openings.
“Hugo França merges the line between art and design,” says Cristina Grajales, the founder of the eponymous Manhattan gallery and an expert on 20th-century and contemporary design. Grajales is also the curator of an upcoming exhibition of Hugo França’s work at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, part of the 2013–2014 Design at Fairchild season, itself a part of the annual Art at Fairchild exhibitions.
If you read the print edition of FORM, you’ll definitely remember Michael Webb’s fascinating story Color and the City, investigating the role that color does or doesn’t play in today’s urban fabric. To illustrate the article, we included an image from the Firmeza Foundation of a Brazilian favela the group had painted.
Over the years, FORM has brought you thought-provoking interviews with some of the world’s leading architects and designers. They’ve discussed and assessed their work, their legacies, and the direction of their professions. As part of an ongoing, Web-only feature, we’ll be bringing you some of the most notable conversations from our archives. To kick off the series, we’re sharing an interview with the legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer that appeared in one of our early issues—May/June 2001. In the Q-and-A, conducted by the architect, critic and architectural historian Roberto Segre, Niemeyer, who died in December at the age of 104, reflects on his work, the design of cities, and the state of architecture in Brazil. As Brazil is about it take the world stage for two major sporting events (the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games), his words are especially thought provoking.