Brazil's Modern Architecture Edited by Elisabetta Andreoli and Adrian Forty. Essays by Guilherme Wisnick, Luiz Recaman, Roberto C

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Brazil's architecture is strikingly distinct from Latin America as a whole and diverse in itself. Yet coverage of the architecture of twentieth-century Brazil is all too often confined to the work of one man (Oscar Niemeyer) or the buildings of two cities (Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo). In Brazil's Modern Architecture, a new generation of Brazilian cities and historians sets the record straight, providing a truly comprehensive survey and analysis of twentieth-century Brazilian architecture.

This tome embodies a vivid re-interpretation of Brazilian architecture throughout the course of the twentieth century: from the first modern houses of the 1920s and Le Corbusier's seminal visits to the country, through the well-known 'heroic' period of the 1940s-1950s to its post-1964 crisis, and up to contemporary developments. Works are examined from the 'inside' by explaining the cultural context that is crucial to a truly nuanced understanding of Brazilian architecture.

With bold originality, this book clarifies the often paradoxical relation between Brazil's political, social and economic history and its architectural development. Transcending past convention, it identifies - with unprecedented insight - the momentous architectural breakthroughs of twentieth-century Brazil with its tumultuous historical life. Where previous studies saw disintegration, this volume illustrates the often unrecognized threads of continuity between the most recent architectural work and that of the high-Modernist era of the mid-century.

Presented with elegant flair and argued with lively sophistication, Brazil's Modern Architecture is accessible and thought-provoking for the reader, and groundbreaking for the history of architecture.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 290 x 250 mm (11 3/8 x 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • Illustrations: 200 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714848457

Elisabetta Andreoli is an expert on modern and contemporary architecture in Brazil.

Adrian Forty is an architectural historian and Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London. He is the author of Objects of Desire (1986), Words and Buildings (2000), and is currently writing a study of concrete and architecture.

Guilherme Wisnik is a practising architect and an associate at Metro Arquitetos Associados based in São Paulo. He has published articles in specialist journals and is the author of a monograph on Lucio Costa.

Roberto Conduru teaches History of Art at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro and at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio do Janeiro. Having gained a doctorate in History, he now specializes in the art and architecture of Brazil. He is the author of monographs on Vital Brazil and Willys de Castro and of several essays in specialized journals.

Luiz Recaman has been a practising architect since 1983. He teaches Aesthetics at the Escola de Engenheria, Universidade de São Paulo and has published articles in various journals.

João Masão Kamita teaches post-graduate History of Art and Architecture in Brazil, Pontificia Universidade do Rio de Janeiro. The author of a book on Vilanova Artigas, he has published various essays in academic journals.

Pedro Arantes has carried out extensive post-graduate research on the policies of the World Bank for Latin American cities and is the author of a book on the influential 1960s practice Arquitetura Nova. He currently works for Usina, a technical consultancy in construction, providing support to the Landless Movement in Brazil.

"The creative richness of Brazilian architecture, and the very high critical level of some of the writing in this book [...] suggest that far from worrying about Brazil being provincial, as the authors fear, it is we in Europe how need to learn from their experience... The book is filled with the most beautiful, adventurous modern architecture one has seen anywhere... By combining immense beauty with deep tragedy, perhaps this book exactly captures the spirit of Brazilian architecture, as in the samba by Cazuza, its beauty making everything "por um segundo mais feliz" (a little happier, for just a moment)."—Thomas Muirhead, Building Design

"Tells the story… of what made the country’s populace open to Le Corbusier’s radicalism and Niemayer’s modernism while living in shanty towns that would disgrace Calcutta."—Arena

"Beautifully illustrated."—RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects

"Exemplary... The text is serious yet clear, and enhanced by stunning photographs... Best of all, there is a list of buildings to visit, and contacts for those open only by appointment. Plan your trip now."—Architect’s Journal

"Serves up a selection of the most heroic and expressionist modern architecture."—Wallpaper*

"Having spent a recent trip to Brazil constantly in this book's company, I'm now inordinately attached to it. At each stop, it was reverently taken out of the suitcase, placed on the desk, consulted, then packed up and hauled on to the next stop…Overall, I could not have asked for a more useful or enlightened guide than Brazil's Modern Architecture... Well-written... Meticulously produced... Beautiful visual material."—Contemporary

"The introduction provides an excellent overview of Brazilian Modernism and its context... An elegantly produced, generously illustrated and highly readable book... It is rare to find a book of this kind covering so well a wide range of issues."—The Architectural Review

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