A collection of Brazil's floating architecture from flickr, mostly from this set.Floating appears to be a characteristic work of not just Paolo Mendes de la Rocha's work but of virtually all of Brazil's modern masters. Oscar Neimeyer, Lina bo Bardi, Joao Battista Vilanova Artigas, Mendes de la Rocha, etc, all have this fascination with strong forms that hover, playing on alternating themes of heaviness and lightness. Even Siza, as I have previously pointed out, picks up this theme when he began working recently in Brazil and carries it back to Portugal with him. Concrete, the counter intuitive material of choice for this game of levity, is pushed to its extremes of plasticity, massivity, and lightness.
I wonder what is the reason for this common thread--is a formal game inherited from Corbusier and passed down through the generations? Has it something to do with Brazilian culture? Or, is it an act of political posturing--a giving up of the ground to the masses?
If you are interested in seeing more work of the Brazilian magicians I invite you to check out the Brazilian Modernism flickr set of 'weyerdk' who has a wonderful collection of photographs.
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