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Mendes da Rocha, Golden Lion

The Master of Sao Paulo


One of the first events of a Venice Architect Biennale is the announcement of the Golden Lion for an entire career. This year, by honoring a master like Paulo Mendes da Rocha (see AV Monographs 161), it cannot be said that Aravena has not played safe. With no need for long-winded justifications, the official statement cited things we know only too well, such as the “timelessness of his work” or the “astonishing consistency” that is a “conseequence of his ideologal integrity and his structural genius,” but also mentioned points that are relevant to the ideology of the Biennale, such as Mendes da Rocha’s multidisciplinary focus or his influence on several generations of Latin American architects.

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