In yesterday's post dedicated to Assemble's project winning the 2015 Turner Prize, we mentioned architect Lina Bo Bardi and the SESC Pompeia, the São Paulo-based cultural centre she redeveloped in the '80s.
Assemble actually worked on the travelling exhibition entitled "Lina Bo Bardi: Together", designing and building a flexible enclosure, a set of display furniture and a technical system for this event that celebrates the work of the radical Italian-born Brazil-based architect. Yet the main connection between Bo Bardi and Assemble remains the social purpose of some of their projects. While Bo Bardi's principles may have inspired the collective's projects, there is actually still a lot all of us can learn from her.
In a 1986 essay the architect wrote about going to visit the abandoned Pompéia Drum Works building. "The second time I visited was on a Saturday (...)", she recounted. "There was a happy crowd of infants, mothers, fathers, older people passing from one pavilion to another. The rain was dripping through the cracked roof, but children were running around and boys were playing soccer, laughing as they kicked the ball through the puddles. A group of mothers were barbecuing meat and making sandwiches at the entrance on Clélia Street; close by, a puppet theatre was putting on a show for a group of youngsters. I thought: all of this should continue like this, with all this happiness."
From then on Bo Bardi kept on going back at weekends to experience more joyful scenes, absorb them in her mind and make sure the buildings she was redesigning could become proper spaces where people could happily gather. Her main aim, she continued, was "the desire to construct another reality", and she eventually did so inspired by architettura povera - poor architecture - a term that should be interpreted in the artisanal sense of the word, meaning to achieve the maximum communication and dignity with minimal and humble means. Sounds like this could be a plan, not just in architecture, but in many other disciplines (fashion designers take note...).
Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos