The short text below was published on the exhibition catalogue of the “2º Instituto Tomie Ohtake’s Architecture Award”, which presented its prize finalists in September 2015. The jury was formed by Shundi Iwamizu, Abílio Guerra and Carlos Teixeira (Vazio S/A), who wrote about the winning project, “Cota 10”.
+info: Exposição do 2º Prêmio de Arquitetura Instituto Tomie Ohtake Akzonobel
Urbanism of Absence
Can architecture be the revelation of an absence? An investigation into a latent energy, a sensitivity to an inaudible background noise? That seems to be the motto of Cota 10. In a profession always concerned with building, few hear the echoes of what was demolished. Busy with adding, architects rarely consider the potential of subtraction, destruction, and voids.
The Argentinian magazine PLOT has just published, in its 29th edition, two works by Vazio S/A: a review on the book Entre (Artifice Books on Architecture, 380p., 2012) and the intervention Strucutral Archaeology.
“Abismos Arquitetônicos” (Architectonic Abysses) is an essay about the Indian cisterns which has just been published on the architecture online journal Vitruvius.
My first impression upon seeing the Indian stepwells was this: they look like a reverie of inverted steps and levels, a descent into the depths of the desert every bit as disconcerting as a plunge into the abyss. Rendered all the starker by the play of light and shade, these flights of steps form an architectonic mantra of stunning visual effect, endowing the stairways with a vertiginous rhythm, repeating a pattern that boggles for its scale and multiplication, as if reproduced ad infinitum in a hall of mirrors.
Vazio S/A has TWO projects nominated for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize 2014-2015!!!, the largest and most prestigious architecture award in the Americas. Promoted by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, the list of nominees is on this link. The competing projects are Strucutral Archeology and Cerrado House.
Which challenges faces the architect in the Brazilian context for the viability of their projects? Why are there so few projects that directly face the urban problems they are part of? How to deal with inventiveness in architecture?
Carlos Teixeira (Vazio S/A), along with architects Abilio Guerra (Vitruvius) and Shundi Iwamizu (SIAA) were invited to speak on the subject at symposium “Narratives of a Practice”, which takes place March 17 at Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo. The debate will be followed by a lecture by Pritzker prize architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.
Sketch: BCMF Arquitetos
Habitaculo, exhibition at the Cine Theatro Brazil Vallourec, opened last week. Alongside artists Nydia Negromonte, Grivo, Wilson Baptista and collective Micropolis, Vazio S/A / Carlos Teixeira participates with the intervention “Structural Archaeology” (pictured). Habitaculo was curated by Fabiola Moulin and Marconi Drummond, and runs until December 20. Photo: Gabriel Castro
Photo: Leonardo Finotti
+ info: http://www.vazio.com.br/site2012/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/43604PR150924-003D.jpg
In order to promote discussion, information and the transformation in public realm and urban scale, the international congress “Public spaces” takes place 19-22 October at PUC RS (Porto Alegre, Brazil) and will include presentations by Claudio Acioly (UN-Habitat), Paulo Bicca (PUC RS), Fernando de Melo Franco (Prefeitura de São Paulo) and Carlos Teixeira (Vazio S/A), among others.
“An unexpected reservoir of unbounded possibilities” is the title of our entry for the contest Currencies of Architecture (Chicago Biennial 2015); a statement praising the architectural voids of the concrete “palafittes”:
If modernism was a process of universal ambitions, its side effects are not always the result of a resistance to those ambitions, but often translate their exacerbation in local expression.
The “concrete palafittes” — a commom architectural accident in Belo Horizonte and many other cities in Brazil — can be seen as a corrupter of a well known object, or as an encounter against modernist architecture origins: it demystifies style to create an object that escapes and despises the pure morality and ethical uniformity of its creators.
The palafittes are a monstruous modernist byproduct that, being devoid of intention and language, act as such a grotesque caricature of the modernist grid that it is capable of causing strangeness. Untying a knot that once united structure and program, efficiency and beauty, they are an indeterminate and free space that modern architecture struggled to keep closed — and that here can be seen as an unexpected reservoir of unbounded possibilities.
The marquee of the Ibirapuera Park is a covered, open and active space, which freedom of occupation is due to its “non occupation by architecture”. (…)
We believe that the uncertainty and the uses of the marquee can be enhanced, and with few resources. By means of a modular tubular staircase, its huge terrace would be occupied on specific situations, and then new views of the park, new public spaces and a new perception of the marquee would be made possible. A “latent square” would be discovered.