This interesting and didactic study alternates rigor and documentation with other added values that reveal an understanding of architecture in accordance with Mendes da Rocha’s statement to the effect that we ought to think with technique if we are trained for it, because what appears as technique is simply thought and reason. As both an architect and a teacher, outstanding in both if they are not one same thing, García del Monte attributes to a conversation with the Brazilian architect his choice, in the title, of the term ‘awareness’ over ‘feeling’. Both would have been good, as we can glean from the text or the projects mentioned. Another reader might perhaps suggest replacing ‘prestressing’ with ‘technique’, in a plausible desire for universalization.
The author recalls the passage where Vilanova Artigas, also a protagonist of this book, resorted to Perret’s maxim: it is best to make the support points sing. Some of this is present in the initial chapters on Freyssinet or the Paulista School, and in the comparison made between Perret and Artigas, a duel between the French engineer and the architect from Vitoria, that precedes the conclusions, crowned with an eloquent circular finale, Between those two extremes, in the central core focussing on Mendes da Rocha, the narrative flows unerringly through a series of overlapping epigraphs that, in an admitted parallelism with Le Corbusier’s five points, are constants in the work of the Brazilian master.