Mendes da Rocha / Gironès
It is perhaps a sympton of the times that the latest editions of large architecture biennials have clearly had a political agenda or, at least, a marked social and ecological sensibility. This was the case also of the 11th edition of the Iberoamerican Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (BIAU), which in 2019 prized two interventions marked by their commitment: the SESC 24 de Maio in São Paulo, by master Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and the Climate Museum in Lleida, by the Catalan architect Toni Gironès. Located in a particularly dense area of the city, the SESC 24 de Maio is the result of the transformation of a shopping center into a varied center of public facilities, among which the most emblematic is a pool on the roof, offering a new perspective of the city. For its part, the Climate Museum is designed following an at once strict and creative plan of hygrothermal control of the environments, that takes the public space as starting point and ends up being translated into the povera aesthetic characteristic of the author, defined through a very limited palette of materials and rough finishes.