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The Journal of Architecture

ISSN: 1360-2365 (Print) 1466-4410 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rjar20

João Vilanova Artigas and the meanings of


concrete in Brazil

Felipe Contier & Renato Anelli

To cite this article: Felipe Contier & Renato Anelli (2015) João Vilanova Artigas and
the meanings of concrete in Brazil, The Journal of Architecture, 20:3, 445-473, DOI:
10.1080/13602365.2015.1048698

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2015.1048698

Published online: 11 Jun 2015.

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445

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

João Vilanova Artigas and the


meanings of concrete in Brazil

Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli Institute of Architecture and Urbanism, University of


São Paulo, Brazil (authors’ e-mail addresses:
felipe.contier@usp.br; renato.anelli@gmail.com)

Brazil has a recognised tradition in modern architecture, led by Oscar Niemeyer, whose work
has been distinguished since 1943 by his free forms enabled by reinforced concrete. Before
that, however, the country already harboured important lesser-known experiments with
concrete, which were responsible for a wide process of modernisation of producer relation-
ships in construction. The architect João Vilanova Artigas participated in these two eras,
bringing relevant theoretical and project-based positions relating to how the use of
reinforced concrete could be understood in Brazil. In 1956, various critiques converged,
making Artigas the leader of a radical school based on exposed reinforced concrete. The
three elements that structure this paper contemplate changes in construction in Brazil, iden-
tifying inflexions in Artigas’s production: his early ’constructional morality’; his proximity to
Niemeyer; and the displacement of monumental figurativeness to construction itself.

Introduction By the 1970s, Yves Bruand had already inter-


The history of reinforced concrete is inseparable preted the relationship between form, construction
from the process of the modernisation of construc- techniques and policy as an evolutionary process
tion, including technical specification, aesthetic that would culminate in a modern architecture
renovation, training, legislative changes, innovation, engaged in the construction of the state.3 From
technology transfer and changes in the consumer the 1980s, new studies sought to identify the com-
market and supply industry. In Brazil, this process plexity of this historical process, inspired by the
includes specific economic and cultural dynamics in French Annales tradition in historical scholarship,
which the formation of a renowned modern archi- the Venice School of architectural history and by
tectural and engineering culture, responsible for contemporaneous Anglo-Saxon stances.4 The
important technological achievements regarding identification of technical, political and social mod-
reinforced concrete structures, stands out.1 In this ernisation in Latin American countries in a period
overall picture, it is important to recover the radical prior to the emergence of modern architecture
meaning concrete had in debates on modernisation prompted a questioning of periodisation and histori-
in Brazil in the twentieth century. Some context cal determinism.5 The instrumental role of the
should first be given to the historiography of modern vanguards in the construction of nation
modern architecture in Brazil. The first works of states also emerged as an explanatory factor of the
modern architecture were regarded as part of the dynamics of South American policy, with New Mon-
nation’s success.2 umentality being identified as a common strategy.6

# 2015 RIBA Enterprises 1360-2365 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2015.1048698


446

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

European and North American scholarship, the context of the renewal of the language of and
however, presents a different trajectory of under- thinking around architecture in concrete in the
standing. In the new editions of Pioneers of 1950s.10 This paper will highlight the intellectual
Modern Design in the 1950s, Pevsner included Bra- conflict Artigas felt between the aesthetic tradition
zilian production (disparagingly) as a reference of a popular national modernism and the ethical
point for the revised discussions of modern architec- modernity of a constructive realism. This conflict
ture in Europe. Max Bill, Ernesto Rogers, Bruno Zevi can be identified both in his design choices and in
and others that followed, made little effort to under- his debates with others—especially his dialogue
stand the specific processes of Brazil, interested only with Niemeyer. The three different epochs that
in its production as an expression of European archi- structure this paper mirror the changes in construc-
tectural culture. The same judgements, arguments tion in Brazil and point out inflexions in Artigas’s
and facts continued to be repeated by important work: the ’constructional morality’ learned from his
authors.7 Even more recent works, such as those early practice, set against the industrialisation of
by Jean-Louis Cohen8 and Adrian Forty,9 which concrete construction in Brazil; the defence of Nie-
sought some rapport with the critical production of meyer’s popular modernism in the context of the
Brazilian and Latin American historians, present a idea of a ‘Brazilian modern architecture’; and,
very limited information base, perhaps due to finally, the displacement of monumental figurative-
language difficulties. In his comprehensive study of ness to construction itself.
reinforced concrete, Forty does not discuss local
technological research developed in the early twen- The formation of the industrial complex of
tieth century, which allowed concrete construction concrete construction
to flourish quickly, even before the emergence of As in Europe, the early use of reinforced concrete in
modern architecture. Cohen fails to see that the col- Brazil preceded the first expressions of modern archi-
laboration of Costa with Le Corbusier from the time tecture in which, of course, the material was pre-
of the Ministry of Education and Health in 1936 was eminent throughout the twentieth century, as a
decisive for the formulation of the principles of New result of its constructional and aesthetic pro-
Monumentality, on which modern Brazilian pro- grammes. Nevertheless, the use of reinforced con-
duction of the following decades is based. In light crete implied from the start a broad process of
of this, the work presented here aims to contribute modernisation in constructional production.
to the diffusion of a new historiography of modern Introduced by immigrants and foreign entrepre-
Brazilian architecture, strongly grounded in recent neurs, mainly German and French, reinforced con-
Brazilian academic research. crete was soon disseminated in Brazil through
Despite being less known than Oscar Niemeyer many kinds and scales of work: from modest resi-
(1907–2012), the architect João Vilanova Artigas dential buildings to large infrastructural construc-
(1915–1985) stands out as a significant leader in tions such as bridges and dams, as well as tall
447

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 1. The first


house designed by
Artigas for himself,
exterior, São Paulo,
1942 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).

buildings. This success is explicable in terms of the (1893), Bahia (1897) and Pernambuco (1912),
following favourable factors: a) a good supply of amongst whom many scientists, structural engineers
unskilled labourers; b) the availability of sufficient and pioneer businessmen in reinforced concrete
labourers among the European immigrants who, stood out. The beginning of technological research
being originally linked to carpentry trades, were aimed at developing a national process of reinforced
skilled enough to make formwork and props; c) pro- concrete production coincided almost exactly with
duction in quantity of cement; d) investors who were the import of Hennebique’s patented technologies
interested in emerging markets; e) local skilled in the 1890s: when the magazine Le Béton Armé
engineers, such as the graduates from the Polytech- publicised Hennebique’s system (1899), the Poly-
nique Schools of Rio de Janeiro (1792), São Paulo technique School of São Paulo founded its Office
448

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 2. The first skilled labourers at all levels in order to meet the
house designed by needs of art and industry.12 These initiatives contrib-
Artigas for himself,
uted to the appearance of workshops for steel
interior, ground floor,
São Paulo, 1942 forging, carpentry, stained glass, mosaics, carvings
(photograph: FAUUSP and stucco, as well as the creation of a body of
Archives). trade labourers whose qualifications and technical
skills gave them relative freedom and better salaries
than those paid to factory workers.13 Many of these
immigrants were Italian, Spanish and Portuguese:
they brought knowledge of their trades as well as,
often, radical political ideals.14 The architectonic
language of official buildings, as well as those pre-
ferred by the wealthy classes, depended on these
workers who would were thus able to enjoy relative
independence. In certain kinds of buildings these
workers were also in charge of the design and man-
agement of the construction.
The First Republic (1889–1930), of a liberal and
of Materials-Resistance and started testing it.11 The oligarchic character, gave an international and
decision to overcome the technological gap with metropolitan character to the major Brazilian cities.
Europe was evident at various times: in 1905, Hippo- Large foreign companies and consortia entered the
lito Gustavo Pojul Jr published his Manual of Brazilian market, affecting the local construction
Materials Resistance, disseminating research industry and city management. Their role was to
reports conducted in the Office, and in 1913 modernise cities and construction, importing their
reinforced concrete was already part of Paula expertise in exchange for broadly favourable
Souza’s class textbooks, enabling its diffusion as a business conditions. This period of great freedom
construction technique. for foreign capital gave rise to many companies,
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, new such as: the Light Co. (1899);15 the City Co.
immigrant workers, having brought the necessary (1912); the Reinforced Concrete Construction Co.
knowledge from their respective countries, intro- (1913);16 the Danish construction company, Chris-
duced brick masonry construction techniques. At tiani & Nielsen (1922); the German Wayss &
the same time, institutions for the Arts and Crafts Freytag, established as the National Construction
were created in Rio de Janeiro (1856), Salvador Co. (1924).17 An exception was the Construction
(1872), São Paulo (1873) and Recife (1980), Co. of Santos, founded by the engineer Roberto
marking the strategy of the new local elite to train Simonsen (1912).18
449

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 3. The first


house designed by
Artigas for himself,
section details, São
Paulo, 1942 (FAUUSP
Archives).

The Republic thus required a series of new build- of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro and in the course in
ings and public investments—such as roads, architecture and engineering at the Polytechnique
bridges, parks, theatres, monuments, administrative of São Paulo was predominant. Several foreign
centres, railway stations, ports—and the headquar- architects also worked in Brazil, many of them
ters of public or private companies, many of which brought over by companies already active in the
were foreign. The ferment in the capital, Rio de country. The fine arts shone in ostentatious public
Janeiro, and the rapid growth of cities such as São buildings, whereas in more quotidian edifices the
Paulo, which would become the largest city in the main function carried out by architects was akin to
country by the late 1950s, heated up the housing that of engineers, taking the form of small construc-
market, both rental and residential. The conjunction tion firms competing with all sorts of tradesmen,
of reinforced concrete and some masonry tech- contractors and licensed practitioners.
niques became very popular in the 1920s. However, important technological innovations
Within this broad spectrum of work, the academic were happening behind the traditional appearance
architecture that was taught at the National School of the decorative arts that were noticeable on the
450

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 4. The first


house designed by
Artigas for himself, plan
details, São Paulo, 1942
(FAUUSP Archives).

façades of these buildings. These included: It was possible, with concrete construction, to
reinforced concrete structures: large spans; verticali- detach the skilled, mental work of building from
sation; reinforced concrete foundations; exper- the purely manual element. The opportunities
iments with metallic formwork; new ways of provided by concrete for such a division of
managing the construction site by increasingly labour is what really distinguished concrete and
detailed drawings. made it uniquely different from all other construc-
In this incipient industrial construction complex, tion processes in labour terms. No other means of
the use of reinforced concrete brought about a construction allowed such a satisfactory separ-
new technical and social division of labour. Increas- ation of the mental from the manual elements
ingly detailed drawings were introduced as a of labour.19
mediation between the workers and the work they As traditional trades such as artistic ironwork and
needed to carry out. By codifying the elements of carpentry gave way to new, lower-skilled trades,
construction into service orders addressed to such as that of the formwork carpenter, an army
unskilled workers, this mediation created conditions of servants was being formed to carry out menial
of work on the construction site analogous to indus- tasks such as the transport of materials, and the
trial work (real subsumption, according to Marx). In preparation of reinforcements and mixing concrete.
fact: Many migrants from the poor north east were drawn
451

The Journal
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Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 5. House Rio


Branco Paranhos,
exterior, São Paulo,
1943 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).

to the south east by the opportunities offered by its construction sites, resulting in a higher return on
industries in the 1930s. investments. The newspaper A Noite’s new building,
These changes were also intertwined with the whose structure was due to the engineer Emilio
erection of the first reinforced concrete skyscrapers Baumgart, was inaugurated in 1930 and, in its inno-
in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro,20 as happened in vation in using geometrical shapes and its height of
other parts of Latin America.21 Liernur22 attributes 102 metres, consolidated Brazilian mastery of
this growth to the trend to substitute property reinforced concrete structures.
investment for financial, the latter of which had The formal renewal of architecture was initiated
been adversely affected by the 1929 crisis. After the activity of foreign architects, or those with
the peak of the crisis, the large amount of available foreign training. It is remarkable that two of them,
capital directed to the property market helped to the Ukrainian Gregory Warchavchik and the Brazi-
stimulate the rational organisation of design and lian Rino Levi (who both graduated from Rome in
452

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 6. House Rio


Branco Paranhos, plan,
São Paulo, 1943
(FAUUSP Archives).

1921 and 1926 respectively), started their careers in tion’ and a new taste for machines designed by
Santos Builder Co. Warchavchik and Levi developed engineers for economy and functionality.
the first modern architecture in Brazil, the former The 1930 revolution, a coup d’état against the
with his own Modernist House in Santa Cruz St in coffee oligarchy, established a period of modernis-
1927 and the latter with some simple houses ation for the Republic. Getúlio Vargas guided the
designed and built between 1929 and 1932.23 modernisation of public institutions, helping to estab-
Despite the small size of these residential pro- lish scientific and technical standards25 and guiding
grammes, they experimented with abstract geo- industrialisation.26 In this process, new labour legis-
metric-shaped spans and cantilevers of reinforced lation and the regulation of unions and professions
concrete. Warchavchik’s manifesto24 condemned granted architects and engineers exclusivity for the
‘absurd ornaments’, and praised ’logical construc- design and coordination of civil constructions.
453

The Journal
of Architecture
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Number 3

Figure 7. Londrina Bus


Terminal, exterior, front,
Londrina, 1950
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

Constructional morality St house twice.28 Thereafter, he criticised the con-


Artigas’s professional trajectory began in this cealment of materials evident in the house, which
context, away from large reinforced concrete con- he thought contradicted Warchavchik’s principles,
structions. Being a good designer, the young as stated in 1925: that is, bricks concealed by
architect from the Polytechnique School was rustic plaster composed of white cement, kaolin
invited by Warchavchik in 1939 to be his partner and mica in order to confer a concrete-like appear-
in a tender for the Municipal Court of São ance; a roof-hiding parapet, suggesting an indus-
Paulo. Until then, he had worked in a placement trial-looking slab and frames that were in fact
at the Botti & Bratke construction firm. Since hand-crafted.29 Despite Warchavchik’s justification,
1937 he had also owned a modest ‘purely com- presented at CIAM in 1930, according to which
mercial’ construction firm, in which he satisfied ‘local industry does not produce the necessary, stan-
local bourgeois taste through eclectic and histori- dardised, tasteful and good quality construction
cist variations. yet’,30 to Artigas the house revealed the opposite
At that time, Artigas did not know who Le Corbu- of what was intended: the mimetic character of
sier was, nor what was happening in Rio de an imported style, in conflict with local potential
Janeiro.27 Nevertheless, he imitated the Santa Cruz (figs 1, 2, 3, 4).
454

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 8. Londrina Bus


Terminal, under
construction, Londrina,
1950 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).

Even though Artigas did not express these criti- sidered to be cheaper and more appropriate to
cisms in the 1940s, his design practice evinces an local reality: large roofs, timber and exposed bricks.
intuitive search for what he deemed to be more suit- It was with this poetics of the ‘truth of materials’33
able solutions than that of reinforced concrete. Arti- that Artigas began to stand out in the architectural
gas’s criticism was directed at the cost of concrete, scene of the 1940s. His Polytechnique education
which became a luxury item during the Second enabled him to calculate his buildings’ structures
World War, only available to ‘a dozen landowners and study innovations in construction. This is how,
who came from Europe and wanted to exhibit for example, inspired by photographs of Wright’s
what they already had’: after all, a concrete slab work and a theorem published in a technical maga-
was ‘fifty times more expensive than mahogany zine,34 he designed in 1943 the famous cantilever of
beams’.31 In search of ’constructional morality’,32 the Rio Branco Paranhos house (figs 5, 6).
Artigas rejected Corbusian language and found in Despite the relative seclusion of his initial pro-
Frank Lloyd Wright the modern solutions he con- fessional practice, Artigas felt supported by the
455

The Journal
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Volume 20
Number 3

A home built by Artigas does not follow the laws Figure 9. Londrina Bus
dictated by man’s routine life, but imposes a vital Terminal, part of
passenger boarding
law, a morality that is always severe, almost
area, Londrina, 1950
puritan. It is not ‘showy’, nor does it impose an (photograph: FAUUSP
appearance of modernity, which today one Archives).
could define as stylism. [ … ]. Every Artigas
houses breaks all the rules of the bourgeois
halls. All is open inside the Artigas homes one
gets to see, with plenty of glass and often low ceil-
ings; the kitchen is not separate and the bourgeois
who might be attracted by the novelty and requi-
sition an Artigas home would be shocked with ‘so
little privacy’, blinded by so much light.36

‘Brazilian Modern Architecture’


From 1943, Artigas, who until then had developed a
body of work in relative isolation, renewed his archi-
tectonic vocabulary, getting closer to the modernism
guidelines of the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), of Niemeyer, who was by then already associated
which harboured important Brazilian artists and with the first modern public works of the Vargas
intellectuals. To Artigas, architecture could not be Government. The convergence with the groups
approached other than as a political act.35 from Rio de Janeiro can be related, amongst other
Thereby, while the PCB considered that the Brazi- factors, to the New Monumentality37 and to the
lian proletariat was not yet formed as a class— impact of Brazil Builds,38 when Artigas would have
thus desiring a democratic bourgeois national revo- ‘realised that while he endeavoured to build an
lution—Artigas dedicated himself to reinventing architecture of local features in isolation, another
the house designs of São Paulo’s bourgeoisie. architecture acknowledged as Brazilian had surfaced
PCB’s thesis, known as ‘stagism’, was convenient through North Americans’ eyes’.39
for architects insofar as they depended on This inflexion in Artigas’s work arose in a turbulent
wealthy clients to work, especially in São Paulo political, professional and personal context. In 1943,
where there were not as many public buildings Eduardo Kneese de Mello asked Artigas to lead
as in Rio de Janeiro. With this background he jointly the creation of the Brazilian Institute of Archi-
brought a new attitude, re-educating the residents tects’ (IAB) chapter in São Paulo, in a gesture
of his projects by establishing ‘a severe morality’, intended to integrate São Paulo into IAB’s national
as defined by Lina Bo Bardi in 1950: project, until then dominated by the modernists
456

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 10. Londrina Bus


Terminal, section,
construction details,
Londrina, 1950
(FAUUSP Archives).

and located in Rio de Janeiro. At the same time, he of the new professional class to take a stance on
concluded his partnership with Duílio Marone in major national and international subjects. At last,
the construction firm in order to establish a new the dismemberment of the Polytechnique School
office in 1945, exclusively dedicated to design. Not of São Paulo, in which Artigas taught, and the sub-
by chance, the first Brazilian Congress of Architects, sequent creation of the Faculty of Architecture and
held in São Paulo and led by Artigas, promoted in its Urbanism (FAU) in 1948, allowed him to take a
agenda a distinction between the activities of archi- leading position in architectural education, thus
tects and those of engineers, and asserted the artis- widening his influence over other architects.
tic autonomy of architecture. The ‘social function of For a short period after Vargas’s dictatorship, the
architecture’ discussed at the time revealed the will PCB ceased being an illegal party and soon
457

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 11. Olga Baeta


House, exterior,
entrance, São Paulo,
1956 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).

became a party of the masses (and very popular seen strategically as a unitary block. I will return to
amongst intellectuals, artists and architects). This this topic.
demanded public involvement by the party’s intellec- By abandoning construction activities, Artigas’s
tual leadership, Artigas included, and in turn, this office was reduced. Yet, he received his first large
public role implied a collective position. In the Cold commissions in this period, notably: São Lucas Hos-
War context, opposition to imperialism became pital (1945), Louveira Building (1946), Sociedade
inevitable as did criticising both North American Autolon and Cine Ouro Verde Building (1946), Chil-
and Soviet models. Seeking to reconcile all these dren’s House (1950), the Londrina Bus Terminal
agendas, Artigas elaborated a curious theoretical (1950; figs 7, 8, 9, 10)) and the Morumbi Stadium
articulation between Socialist Realism, national (1952). At the same time, he designed some
development and ‘Brazilian modern architecture’, houses, mostly for friends from the University or
458

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 12. Olga Baeta some of Niemeyer’s parti-pris, such as the butterfly
House, interior, ground roof of the Kubitschek residence (1943), explored
floor, São Paulo, 1956
by Artigas in his own house in 1949.
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives). In the constructions built during these years, the
reinforced concrete form can be analytically
deduced but, as with Niemeyer’s work, it is
covered by different kinds of material. Yet,
reinforced concrete is present, allowing larger light
openings, multiple levels, free plans and, especially,
formal innovations.
This inflexion in Artigas’s work reveals an
acknowledgement of the communicative function
of architecture towards the masses: precisely at a
moment when even the non-specialist press
showed some interest in architecture. That does
not mean he was not technically committed to the
simplicity of the programme and construction:
after all, he even calculated most of the structures
of his smaller constructions himself. However, it
was, for him, rather a political issue—building a
popular image of a democratic and modern national
project, one that would be able to create the subjec-
the Party. These are high-quality projects that show tive conditions for the emergence of a progressive
his restlessness in redefining the uses and spatial dis- revolution.
tribution of his buildings, especially houses. Therefore, ‘Brazilian modern architecture’ appears
However, the displacement of his previous critical in his work as an image representing this national
stance towards modernism is nonetheless remark- project. And, as communication with the populace
able. He started to adopt solutions that already became a more pressing matter than his earlier
had been mastered by architects from Rio, such as moral criticism of falseness in construction, the
the composition of pure geometrical volumes, some- achievements of reinforced concrete and those of
times supported directly on the ground, sometimes Brazilian engineering represented progress, and
on pilotis; large openings; ramps as linkages the possibility of its expression in architectonic
between superimposed plans; the independent form.40
structure of reinforced concrete. Artigas did not In the early 1950s, with the emergence of the
arrive at Niemeyer’s free form, but he did adopt Cold War, Artigas was deeply dedicated to the
459

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 13. Olga Baeta


House, sections, site
plan, São Paulo, 1956
(FAUUSP Archives).

daily activities of the Communist Party, which, as a belief in ‘Brazilian modern architecture’, according
reaction to its success in the 1945 elections, to which he continued to design.
became illegal once again. Being a member of the
editorial board of the Party’s magazine, Fundamen- Constructive realism
tos, Artigas published his most controversial texts Juscelino Kubitschek’s Government was the most
in defence of Socialist Realism and figurative art. successful in containing the opposition and achiev-
Abstract art and the influence of Le Corbusier ing its developmentalist agenda. Kubitschek’s
were deemed to be ‘imperialist’—and artisanal ten- ‘Goal Plan’ involved investments in strategic
dencies, ‘reactionary’.41 Nevertheless all these pas- sectors, such as energy, transport, basic industry
sionate controversies did not deter him from his and education—enabled by a set of economic
460

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 14. Mario


Taques Bittencourt
House, exterior, under
construction, São Paulo,
1959 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).

Figure 15. Santa Paula


Yacht Club Boathouse,
exterior, São Paulo,
1961 (photograph:
FAUUSP Archives).
461

The Journal
of Architecture
Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 16. Santa Paula


Yacht Club Boathouse,
interior, detail of pillar
contact point, São
Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

measures that increased public spending rather than the extremely precarious conditions of the construc-
the contraction recommended by international tion site.43 Despite the industrialisation plan that the
creditors. The construction of the new capital project allegedly represented, modernisation was
crowned the Plan and materialised his policies, suggested by architectural forms that did not
further stimulating civil construction. Lúcio Costa express a reorganisation of the means of production,
won the tender, and the President himself chose which is to say, the means of construction. On the
Niemeyer to take charge of the plans for the main contrary, the construction of an entire city in so
buildings.42 little time resulted in irrational solutions44 and par-
Brasília shaped the country’s accelerated modern- ticularly precarious conditions of life and work for
isation process, generating contradictions between the candangos.45 From this perspective, Brasília
the modern forms of architecture in concrete and presents an unequal and incomplete portrait of
462

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 17. Santa Paula


Yacht Club Boathouse,
under construction, São
Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

Figure 18. Beach house


of Giocondo Artigas,
exterior, front, Caiobá,
Paraná, 1961
(Photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

these ideas.46 Despite his enthusiasm for the new


architecture in Brazil, he did not fail to point out
that the ‘land speculation’ in which this architecture
was involved, was like ‘a cancer in Brazil’s develop-
development, in which formal and technical pro- ment’.47 Therefore, Giedion followed others’ criti-
gress predominated over the social. cisms of the absence of urban planning and the
Brazilian modern architecture, as led by Niemeyer, predominance of property speculation.48
was recognised as a prospect for the future of the In all these attacks on ‘Brazilian modern architec-
rest of the world devastated by war, and became a ture’, the best known is that of the Swiss architect
pivotal basis for the international debate of that Max Bill on his trip to Brazil to attend to the
period. This architecture was quickly popularised in second Bienal of São Paulo in 1953. In an interview
the country, being adopted by most architects in with the magazine Manchete, the head of the
the 1950s. Distortions, repetitions and exagger- school of Ulm criticised Brazilian architecture’s form-
ations ensued as a result, but a high-quality standard alism as being frivolous, irresponsible and anti-
of construction also became normal. modern. This statement provoked antipathy in
Sigfried Giedion noted a ‘certain irrationality’ in most Brazilian architects towards Bill, accompanied
the speed with which all programmes following by expressions of support and unity regarding
the policy for national development embraced national architecture.
463

The Journal
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Volume 20
Number 3

Figure 19. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, exterior,
entrance façade, São
Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

However, to understand the subsequent positions gains in comfort, space or construction quality. To
of Niemeyer and Artigas, we must also consider the Kruschev, a poetics should be extracted from the
change in PCB’s artistic doctrine. Nikita Krushchev, elements of the very building, from its proportions,
in an article published in the magazine Fundamentos entrances and so on. From this realism, architecture
in 1955, harshly criticised the USSR’s architecture, should seek a productive change: industrialisation by
stating that Socialist Realism should be more com- means of standard plans and pre-fabricated
mitted to economic dynamics and the people’s construction made from cheap and speedy
material needs than to architectural form.49 reinforced concrete.
To the new leader of the Soviet Union’s Commu- In this context Oscar Niemeyer surprised everyone
nist Party, the neo-classicism that was being prac- with unexpected self-criticism in his ‘Testimony’.50
tised implied slow, expensive construction, with no He claimed to have started, in 1956, on the occasion
464

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
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Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 20. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, exterior view
with parking areas, São
Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

of the design for Brasília, a new stage in his career, plastic form in the balance between functional and
abandoning the rush, improvisation and excessive constructional problems, and—what interests us
originality which were responsible for the distortions here—that his buildings ‘should no longer express
of previous years. He then stated that he was com- themselves by their secondary elements, but by
mitted to ‘the simplicity of construction and [to] their very structure, properly integrated in the orig-
the logical and economic sense that many inal plastic design’.
requested’. His new attitude even involved the way All the factors mentioned above contributed to a
he would hire workers, acting as the coordinator change of course in Artigas’s work. Until then,
of a public office, especially assembled for the build- even when shaken by direct contact with the
ings of Brasília, and no longer within his private USSR’s neo-classicist architecture as practised in
office. Niemeyer also sought the purification of 1953,51 he continued to insist on the argument
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tive clarity, elimination of the superfluous, etc. In the Figure 21. Faculty of
projects developed after Baeta’s house (1956; Architecture and
Urbanism, interior view,
figs 11, 12, 13) and Bittencourt II’s house (1959;
roof design, São Paulo,
Fig. 14), Artigas developed his new scheme: split- 1961 (photograph:
level disposed plans connected by ramps and FAUUSP Archives).
covered by a single roof. A basic external volume
defines the occupation of the site, harbouring the
complex internal spaces generated. Despite the
rigidity of the buildings’ shapes, enclosed by blind
façades, ground floors remained open. This
concept was evolved through the houses, schools
and other buildings which Artigas designed during
this period, including the Santa Paula Yacht Club
Boathouse and the beach house of Giocondo
Artigas (figs 15, 16, 17, 18). It reached its most
accomplished expression in the design for the
Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism (FAU) of São
Paulo University (1961/69). Under the FAU’s giant
concrete grid roof, a set of ramps and corridors
leads visitors around a large central void, visible
from each level. With neither doors nor interrup-
tions, one passes from the city to the studios on
the upper level (figs 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25).
that Socialist Realism should recognise in Niemeyer Agreeing with Niemeyer’s self-criticism according
‘the right position, the materialist standpoint’, to which the ‘original plastic conception’ of buildings
because he ‘understood the popular aspirations’ of should be expressed through their structure—their
Brazilians.52 essence—Artigas sought a poetics of the behaviour
However, the sequence of work in Artigas’s career of structures. His inventive columns were also not
reveals a more independent path, marked by a sense limited to strict economic performance (which
of continuity and unity. Deliberately rejecting the would represent architecture’s regression to engin-
comfort and softness of a previous phase, his eering) or to the elegance of their design. Instead,
formal rigidness was balanced with spatial fluidity. he sought to emphasise the correct structural effort,
The dominance of exposed concrete in every even if, in order to do that, it was necessary plastically
element of his buildings reaffirms ethical and aes- to stress the support points through devices such as
thetic criteria: low cost, legibility of space, construc- oversizing, diagonal lines of compressive stresses,
466

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 22. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, under
construction, interior
court, São Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

continuity of the system pillar-façade-roof and articu- progressive faction), but on the objective: the devel-
lated joints. Artigas related his new poetics to August opment of productive forces. According to this
Perret, who said it was necessary to ‘faire chanter les orthodox Marxism, industrialisation would sub-
points d’appui’.53 sequently and ultimately lead to the crisis of capital-
Despite the fact that Niemeyer and Artigas took ism and to the end of labour exploitation. However,
different paths after 1956, they were both con- the industrialisation of architecture was far from
nected through the PCB’s theses, whereby the alli- being achieved due to the wide availability of
ance with the bourgeoisie should no longer be cheap labour, partly prompted by the availability of
focused on the subjective conditions for social trans- reinforced concrete. Niemeyer thought this objective
formation (education and co-option of bourgeoisie’s should be pursued through political activism, with
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Figure 23. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, under
construction, roof
exterior, under
construction, interior
court, São Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

nothing that could be done immediately in architec- After all the question arises: where do we
ture, although in practice his formal freedom had stand? Or: what to do? Wait for a new society
induced innovations in engineering. In Niemeyer’s and keep doing what we do, or abandon the
mind, architecture was just a distraction, something occupation of architecture, since it is oriented
less important, which at best could instigate the curi- in hostility towards the people, and throw
osity and imagination of other realities. To Artigas, ourselves into the revolutionary struggle comple-
however, who saw moral content in the choices of tely?54
materials and techniques (for example, imperialism, The solution for his dilemma—’a critical attitude
elitism, colonialism), this separation between mili- towards reality’—was fuzzy when he wrote it in
tancy and professionalism became unsustainable: 1952, but would became clearer after 1956.
468

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

Figure 24. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, completed
building, public event,
São Paulo, 1961
(photograph: FAUUSP
Archives).

Hence his attempt to reconcile the impossibility of Nevertheless, when we analyse Artigas’s work more
industrialisation and the limited role of the architect closely, we can notice that his new poetics did not
led to a social and economic critique in the language break with Niemeyer’s monumentality and its tricks.
of architecture: Artigas’s masterpiece, the FAU, reproduces the
Oscar and I have the same worries and find the lessons taught by Niemeyer’s Alvorada Palace
same problems [ … ], but whereas he always (1957): its front pillar, equally iconic as Niemeyer’s,
strives to solve the contradictions in a harmonious also supports a small amount of the load of the
synthesis, I plainly expose them. In my opinion, the façade above it (which seems heavier than it is).
architect’s role does not consist in an adaptation; Moreover, he displaced the alignment of the side-
we should not conceal the existing struggles with elevation pillars with the remaining ones in order to
an elegant mask, we need fearlessly to reveal emphasise the resulting large span. These and
them.55 other ‘details’ demonstrate that he was also not
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Figure 25. Faculty of


Architecture and
Urbanism, present-day
exterior view, São
Paulo, 1961
(photograph: Nelson
Kon).

willing to give up the architectural features that made Denunciation? Unfortunately, it is not this simple
the buildings of this tradition so amazing. In fact since there is an undeniable positivity in it. The first
Artigas mixes the truth of materials and structural be- point is to recognise that the marks of concrete pro-
haviour with the figurative tradition of Latin Ameri- duction, carefully indicated by Artigas in his draw-
can monumentality. Thus the visual effect of the ings, have an evident plastic intentionality.
structure is more radical than its effective rationalis- Artigas was always aware of two inescapable con-
ation. The exposed marks of the concrete formwork ditions of art and architecture: their presence in
give clues to its production, but its appearance (the history and the economy. This is what drove his ‘con-
appearance of truth) becomes stronger than the structive morality’ in the early 1940s and his post-
content it indicates (the production itself). Thus the war turning point towards what he deemed most
exposure of the concrete assumes a radical likely to be identified by the people as progress.
meaning as the production remains unchanged. Thus he rescued a commitment to the reality of pro-
470

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
in Brazil
Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

duction whilst seeking to represent the contradic- would simply take a pencil. This illustrates the low-
tions of reality. That is why there is no figuration of tech pragmatism of a certain Marxist culture of the
a non-existent industrialisation in his works, unlike 1950s and 1960s, to which Artigas belonged. In
many Brutalist aesthetics of the period. However, the discussion of modern architecture and underde-
within a critical approach to reality, he finds space velopment, he gave meaning to a diffuse collective
to value the scientific and technical ingenuity of feeling by assigning dignity to the simplicity and
reinforced concrete. Similarly to the classical low technology of reinforced concrete. It was ident-
language of architecture, Artigas focused his symbo- ified as the most suitable option for Third-World
lism on pillars, les point d’appui. The meanings of conditions, which included intensive use of labour,
these symbols, however, cannot be comprehended the loss of traditional construction techniques and
in terms of their forms in isolation, but only in engineering expertise: among other factors pre-
close relationship to the reality of the project: its sented hitherto. If concrete was already closely
budget, its location, its use, etc. Two other projects linked to modernisation of the relationships of pro-
designed by Artigas at the same time as FAU, help duction in construction and to the history of Brazilian
to illustrate this balance between material and the modern architecture, it was the right time to expose
visual representation of reality. In the beach house it as a symbol of that awareness. That is why we can
for his brother Giocondo on the coast at Paraná, think of it in terms of figurativeness, a typical
far from the industrial context of São Paulo where element of the New Monumentality.
expertise in advanced reinforced concrete was to However, Artigas’s praise for the relative low-tech
be found, Artigas experimented by using a rustic qualities of concrete cannot be treated as an aes-
log of wood as a pillar (see Figure 18 above), com- thetic of precariousness, which he vehemently
bining it with other vernacular materials, in, for refuted, but rather as a means of demonstrating
example, brick walls and stone floors. Nevertheless, the cunning of human ingenuity (artistically organ-
in parallel, for the Boathouse of the Santa Paula ised) in the face of the violent nature and limited
Yacht Club, he reaffirmed his use of exposed con- conditions of development that characterised Brazil
crete and developed one of his unfulfilled ideas in that period. Thus, greater spans and larger canti-
from FAU for the use of the pillar, producing a levers acquired a sense of boldness and political
simply supported structure expressed in four small resistance, which became more radical through an
rolling contact points (see Figure 16 above). aesthetic purification enabled by the use of less
His approach can be better understood through industrial technology and less material variety. A
an anecdote from the time of the space race, accord- single material—indeed, Le Corbusier’s rationalist
ing to which Americans might invest much time and dream of a construction site with only one métier
money in research leading to a pen that would be —converged with the meaning of concrete in Arti-
able to write in extreme conditions of temperature, gas’s architecture, where the solution was a conse-
pressure and lack of gravity—whereas Russians quence of a ‘critical attitude towards reality’.
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Acknowledgements uma perigosa montagem ideológica’, Arquitetura e


This work was supported by Fapesp under Grant Urbanismo, 17 (1988)—or, more commonly, as the
2013-03331-8; English translation by Eduardo ‘School of São Paulo’, even though it does not define a
regionalist approach. This school is also usually identified
Orsolini.
with ‘New Brutalism’: cf., R. Zein, ‘Brutalismo, sobre sua
definição’, Arquitextos, 84 (2007) <http://www.
Notes and references vitruvius.com.br/revistas/read/arquitextos/07.084/243>.
1. C. A. Vasconcelos, O concreto armado no Brasil: 11. M. Vargas, História da Técnica e da Tecnologia no
recordes, realizações, história (São Paulo, Copiare, Brasil (São Paulo, Editora UNESP, 1994).
1985). 12. In spite of being created with academic aims, these
2. L. Costa, ‘Razões da nova arquitetura’, (1936), in, institutions became providers of specialised services
A. Xavier, Depoimento de uma geração (São Paulo, to modern architecture. It is remarkable, for example,
Casac Naify, 2003); P. Goodwin, Brazil Builds that the Lyceum of São Paulo produced the industrial-
(New York, Moma, 1943); H. E. Mindlin, Modern Archi- ised-looking frames used in MASP or in palaces in Bra-
tecture in Brazil (New York, Reinhold Publishing Corp., sília. To Lina Bo Bardi, who came from Italy, it was
1956). difficult to believe that ‘old craftsmen’ made this
3. Y. Bruand, Arquitetura contemporânea no Brasil (São work. Prejudices aside, the Lyceum of Arts and Crafts
Paulo, Perspectiva, 1999; 1st edition, 1981). of São Paulo was financed by industry, and the
4. Authors such as Sophia da Silva Telles, Otília Arantes, accumulation of technical knowledge allowed it not
Eduardo Comas, Carlos Alberto Martins and Sylvia Ficher. only to produce industrialised-looking objects but
5. A. Gorelik. ‘O moderno em debate: cidade, moderni- also to supply the construction industry with products,
dade e modernização’, in, MIRANDA, Wander Melo training and technological innovation. See,
(org.), Narrativas da modernidade (Belo Horizonte, R. Schenkman, Do vital ao pano de vidro (MSc
Autêntica, 1999), pp. 55–80; J. F. Liernur, Escritos de Thesis, São Paulo, FAUUSP, 2014).
arquitectura del siglo XX en América Latina (Madrid, 13. M. L. Gitahy, ‘Desmemória das metrópoles: apagando
Tanais, 2002), pp. 27–53. os rastros do trabalho de construir’, Ponto (1998).
6. M. A. Pereira, A. Gorelik, Das vanguardas a Brasília— 14. In São Paulo, ‘at the turn of the century, three quarters
Cultura urbana e arquitetura na América Latina (Belo of the masons and all the foremen came from Italy’ A.
Horizonte, Editora UFMG, 2005), p. 157. V. Queiroz apud Pedro Arantes, Arquitetura Nova:
7. Eg, A. Colquhom, Modern Architecture (Oxford, Sérgio Ferro, Flávio Império e Rodrigo Lefèvre, de
Oxford University Press, 2002); M. Tafuri, F Dal Co, Artigas aos mutirões (São Paulo, Editora 34, 2002),
Architettura Contemporanea (Milan, Electa, 1976). p. 20. Until the First World War they were the ‘main
8. J-L. Cohen, The Future of Architecture Since 1889 leaders of the workers movement’: M. L. Gitahy, ‘Des-
(London, Phaidon, 2012). memória das metrópoles’, op. cit.
9. A. Forty, Concrete and culture: a material history 15. Hoping to avoid the high cost of imported cement for
(London, Reaktion Books, 2012). large hydroelectric power plant construction , in 1924
10. His leadership is acknowledged in the recognition of the Light Co. created Brazil’s first cement factory, Portland
‘Artigas School’: cf., J. Katinsky, ‘Arquitetura Paulista: Perus Brazilian Cement S.A., in São Paulo.
472

João Vilanova Artigas and


the meanings of concrete
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Felipe Contier, Renato Anelli

16. Owned by L. Riedlinger, a German businessman who 28. Ottini de Arruda Castanho’s and Giulio Pasquali’s
was Hennebique’s student. houses, according to D. Thomaz, Um olhar sobre Vila-
17. M. L. Freitas, Modernidade concreta: as grandes con- nova Artigas e sua contribuição à arquitetura brasileira
strutoras e o concreto armado no Brasil, 1920 a 1940 (MSc Thesis, São Paulo, FAUUSP, 1997).
(DSc Thesis, São Paulo, FAUUSP, 2011). 29. Y. Bruand, Arquitetura Contemporânea no Brasil (São
18. The new processes and techniques introduced by this Paulo, Perspectiva, 1981).
company were directed to the rational organisation 30. G. Warchavchik apud H. Segawa, Arquiteturas no
of the construction site. Later, this experience guided Brasil 1900–1990 (São Paulo, Edusp, 1998).
the owner’s political campaign which gave rise in 31. Testimony of Artigas to Sylvia Ficher (1982) apud
1932 to the first Brazilian agencies for the rationalis- P. Arantes, Arquitetura Nova, op. cit.
ation of work: see, A. P. Koury, ‘Remontando o para- 32. ’Constructional morality’ or ’technological morality’ are
doxo histórico e montando a unidade nacional: os terms used by Artigas that became key concepts for his
quartéis construídos pela Companhia Construtora de work: see, Ver: S. Ficher, M. Acayaba, Arquitetura
Santos’, II ENANPARQ (Natal, 2012). moderna brasileira (São Paulo, Projeto, 1982).
19. A. Forty, Concrete and culture, op. cit., p. 232. 33. The notion of ’truth of materials’ appears in Artigas’s
20. C. Rabelo, Arquitetos na cidade: espaços profissio- text ‘Os caminhos da arquitetura moderna’ (1952), as
nais em expansão (DSc Thesis, São Paulo, FAUUSP, a contribution from F. Lloyd Wright, to whom ’the
2011). materials should have their color, their own texture,
21. Amongst which the gigantic Kavanagh Building in because it must be “organic”’.
Buenos Aires, built between 1933 and 1936, stands 34. Published in the Magazine of the Engineering Institute
out with its 90.000 m² of reinforced concrete. according to Artigas’s testimony in ‘A função social do
22. J. F. Liernur, Arquitectura en la Argentina del siglo XX: arquiteto’ (1984), in, J. Artigas, Caminhos da arquite-
La construcion de la modernidad (Buenos Aires, Fondo tura (São Paulo, Cosac Naify, 2004).
Nacional de las Artes, 2001), p. 202. 35. The issue that seems fundamental to us is how Artigas’s
23. R. Anelli, A. Guerra, N. Kon, Rino Levi, arquitetura e political approach in architecture swings between the
cidade (São Paulo, Romano Guerra, 2001), pp. 28–29. visual and the technical. A different position from
24. G. Warchavchik, ‘Acerca da arquitetura moderna’ ours, one that avoids the relationship between ideology
(1925), Arte em Revista, 4 (1980), pp. 5–6. and architecture in Artigas’s work, can be seen in
25. Some examples are the creation of the Brazilian Associ- R. Zein, ‘Brutalismo, sobre sua definição’, op. cit.
ation of Technical Standards (ABNT), the Brazilian 36. L. B. Bardi, ‘Casas de Vilanova Artigas’, Habitat, 1 (1950).
Association of Portland Cement (ABCP), the Institute 37. S. Giedion, J. L. Sert, F. Legér, ‘Nine Points on Monu-
for Technological Researches (IPT) and the Universities mentality’ (1943), Harvard Architectural Review
of São Paulo (USP) and Porto Alegre (UFRGS). (1984), pp. 62–63.
26. Vargas created a state-based industry: for example, the 38. P. Goodwin, Brazil Builds, op. cit.
National Manufacturer of Motors (FNM) and the 39. D. Thomaz, Um olhar sobre Vilanova Artigas e sua con-
National Steel Co. (CSN). tribuição à arquitetura brasileira (MSc Thesis, São
27. P. Arantes, Arquitetura Nova, op. cit. Paulo, FAUUSP, 1997), p. 125.
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40. The unskilled labour implications of reinforced con- painter, sculptor, landscapist’, envisaging action
crete were only acknowledged by Artigas’s disciples ranging from ’isolated unities to the wide urban
in the 1970s. We refer here to Sérgio Ferro, Rodrigo areas’—advocating the position that ’there are no
Lefèvre and Flávio Império. See A. P. Koury, Grupo boundaries between architecture and urban planning,
Arquitetura Nova (MSc Thesis, São Carlos, EESC, just like there is no border between the city and its
1999); P. Arantes, Arquitetura Nova, op. cit.; region’. ‘New Monumentality’ would give concrete
F. Contier, ‘História da arquitetura a contrapelo’, in, visibility and social meaning to planning activities
S. Ferro, A história da arquitetura vista do canteiro (S. Giedion, J. L. Sert, F. Legér, ‘Nine Points on Monu-
(São Paulo, GFAU, 2009). mentality’, op. cit.).
41. Cf., ‘Le Corbusier o imperialismo’ (1951); ‘A Bienal é 48. G.C. Argan, ‘Arquitetura moderna no Brasil’ (1954), in,
contra os artistas brasileiros’ (1951); ‘Os caminhos da A. Xavier, Depoimentos de uma geração (São Paulo,
arquitetura moderna’ (1952): essays brought Cosac Naify, 2003), pp. 170–175.
together in J. Artigas, Caminhos da arquitetura, op. 49. It was a similar argument that, moreover, led to the rise
cit. of Socialist Realism in spite of Constructivism in the
42. When Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Kubitschek had 1930s. In order to centralise policy for the arts, the
employed Oscar Niemeyer (1940–45): the successful Soviet Union’s Communist Party regulated the literary
experience of Pampulha harmonised with the Presi- and artists` unions in 1932, thus terminating the dis-
dent’s aesthetic-political goals. putes between the constructivists, productivists and
43. This contradiction was thoroughly analysed by Sérgio other groups. Cf. J-L. Cohen, The Future of Architec-
Ferro: see ‘O canteiro e o desenho’ (1976), in, ture since 1889, op. cit., p. 172.
S. Ferro, Arquitetura e trabalho livre (São Paulo, 50. O. Niemeyer, ‘Depoimento’ (1958): A. Xavier, Depoi-
Cosac Naify, 2006). mento de uma geração, op. cit., pp. 238–240.
44. For example, the import and transport of the metallic 51. Artigas went to the USSR twice, in 1952, accompanied
structures of the ministries was done by aeroplane, by IAB’s architects, and in 1953, with a delegation of
since it was then the only means of access. PCB’s artists and intellectuals. After the second trip,
45. The name for the workers who built Brasilia: recruited he fell into a crisis and almost abandoned his office,
throughout Brazil in a climate of propaganda for ‘pro- designing only two houses between 1954 and 1955.
gress’. 52. J. Artigas, ‘Considerações sobre arquitetura brasileira’
46. S. Giedion, ‘Introduction’, in, H. E. Mindlin, Modern (1954), in, J. Artigas, Caminhos da arquitetura, op.
Architecture in Brazil, op. cit. cit. In this text, Artigas signals his opposition to his col-
47. A. Colquhoun (Modern Architecture, op. cit.) proposes leagues in Rio Grande do Sul, Edgar Graeff and Demé-
that the theories underlying ‘New Monumentality’ trio Ribeiro, who defended a regionalist-oriented
sought to attract wide opposition to the strictly utilitar- Socialist Realism.
ian character of such buildings. However, this opposi- 53. ’make the point supports sing’
tion did not derive simply from the processes of 54. J. Artigas, ‘Os caminhos da arquitetura moderna’
urban and territorial planning. Far from being con- (1952), op. cit.
ceived as restricted to the field of aesthetics, its mani- 55. J. Artigas apud Y. Bruand, Arquitetura contemporânea
festo aimed to embrace the ’planner, architect, no Brasil, op. cit., p. 302.