Obituaries 

Paulo Mendes da Rocha

Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Obituaries 

Paulo Mendes da Rocha

14/06/2022


1928-2021

The Brazilian Paulo Mendes da Rocha, perhaps one of the last great masters of the second half of the 20th century, passed away in São Paulo on 29 May at 92. Born in Vitória, in the southeast of Brazil, Mendes da Rocha studied architecture at a time when the principles of the Modern Movement were being revised for the first time in national or regional key. Here emerged the sensual lyricism of Niemeyer and the povera brutalism of Vilanova Artigas, father of the so-called ‘Paulista’ school spearheaded early on by Mendes da Rocha, deeply marked by the social reality of his country. Mendes da Rocha managed to combine his peculiar sculptural brutalism, resourceful at exploiting and expressing the possibilities of concrete, mainly post-stressed, with an incorruptible civic sensibility that led him to reject many private commissions. From the Club Atlético Paulistano Gymnasium – an extraordinary work that brought him international recognition – to the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture and the Chapel of Saint Peter, his powerful, exquisite, and social work was distinguished with the Praemium Imperiale, the RIBA Gold Medal, and the Pritzker Prize in 2006.


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