Modern Architecture in Brazil, December 2012 Rare Book of the Month

December Rare Book of the Month

Modern Architecture in Brazil by Henrique E. Mindlin

Published by The Architectural Press, London 1956.

With the very recent news of the death of Oscar Niemeyer it seemed a good moment to take a look at this book which declares itself to be the “first full-scale attempt to show modern Brazilian architecture in all its aspects”. Published in 1956, it showcases Brazilian architecture from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s. Up to this point, new Brazilian architecture was not much known outside Brazil.

The Preface is written by renowned architecture critic and historian Professor Siegfried Giedion. Giedion notes Le Corbusier’s one month stay in Brazil in 1936 and comments that this visit, during which Le Corbusier worked with a group of young Brazilian architects, was of “outstanding importance” for the development of Brazilian architecture. Le Corbusier’s influence can be seen in the designs featured in this book, as can the influence of other modernist architects Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Brazilian architects though have necessarily studied the phenomenon of sunlight and created all kinds of protective devices to cope with the Brazilian climate.

The author Henrique Mindlin was a Brazilian architect and discusses design problems from personal and professional experience. He discusses the work of seventy of his contemporaries, including Oscar Niemeyer who is best known for his Brazilian take on modernism when he design the new Brazilian capital city Brasilia. Each project is accompanied by photographs, plans and drawings.

Click here for The Guardian article regarding Oscar Niemeyer

This book is located in the Rare Book collection at UCA’s Canterbury campus library.

This book was reviewed by Richenda Gwilt, Librarian

More details about archives, special collections, and rare books can be seen here

Canterbury School of Architecture prospectus

Canterbury School of Architecture prospectus

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