Brazilian Architecture: João Batista Vilanova Artigas

Since we know, the architecture of the modern Brazilian movement was coming from tropes extracted from the syntax of the purism from Him Corbusier, principally the use of pilotis and the traffic by means of ramps. Both elements would acquire one paper emphasized in the evolution of Vilanova Artigas’s architecture once drifted apart from Wright; an influence that still was present in his own house, of 1942, and in the house Rio Branco Paranhos, of 1943. The ramps like key topic of his architecture appear for the first time in São Lucas’s Hospital, constructed in Curitiba in 1945, in which they serve to join the wings of a small sanatorium. A ramp of access combined conpilotis would determine the profile of the section of the house Czapski, constructed in 1949.

As Vilanova Artigas would admit, the appropriation of these tropes was coming from the way in which they had been in use in the architecture of Rio de Janeiro during the second half of the decade of 1930, especially in Oscar Niemeyer’s brilliant early work, in which the severity of the syntax of Le Corbusier was meeting partly attenuated by Roberto Burle Marx’s sensual landscapes. What the School Paulista was adding to this exuberant topographic language was an attitude tectónicamente more rigorous towards the joint of the structural form.The above mentioned attitude becomes evident in the sloping cover of the house Czapski, whose slope is parallel, almost up to constituting a cartoon, to that of the ramp of access that he shelters; both elements appear as a cut in the surface of the wall curtain of the building.

This combination of a cover to a water with a ramp already was appearing in the project for the house Errazuris of Him Corbusier in 1930, and Niemeyer elaborated it in the nautical club of Pampulha, Belho Horizonte, 1942. In Vilanova Artigas’s work, this binomial acquires a character of major sculptural stridency, confiriendo simultaneously, both to the ramp and to the cover, a monumental dimension.

João Batista Vilanova Artigas |


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