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Biennale Architettura 2021 in memoriam: Lina Bo Bardi.

Biennale Architettura 2021 in memoriam: Lina Bo Bardi.

The italian architect, designer, scenographer, artist and critic naturalized as a Brazilian citizen, is the recipient of the Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement prize on the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, that will open to the public on Saturday May 22nd 2021 (preview May 20th and 21st). The acknowledgment was recommended by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Biennale Architettura 2021, and approved by the Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia.

Lina Bo Bardi’s MASP São Paulo Museum

The Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement is a long overdue recognition for an illustrious career straddling between Italy and Brazil, for re-enlivening the role of the architect as an enabler of society, and for a woman who simply  represents the architect at her best.

The phenomenal life and work of Lina Bo Bardi has long addressed the central question of this year’s International Architecture Exhibition: How will we live together?

“Architects, like other professionals depend on the country’s socioeconomic structure. In order to change, one needs to make a revolution. Architecture and architectural freedom are above all a social issue that must be seen from inside a political structure, not from outside it.”

Lina Bo Bardi

Just as one example, the design of the São Paulo Museum is exemplary in its ability to create a public space for the whole city, to create spaces inside that are flexible and to be open to experimental and more inclusive exhibitions such as Bo Bardi’s own exhibitions. The titles of these exhibitions alone, “The House as Soul,” “The Dignity of Architecture,” and “The Hand of the Brazilian People,” illustrate very strongly the power of architecture to bring people together.

Lina Bo Bardi’s MASP São Paulo Museum

«We hope that the 2021 edition of La Biennale – rather than inflate her popularity as an architectural icon – will help to even better contextualize and communicate the depth of Lina Bo Bardi’s critical view of the world: always caring for the least culturally represented, consistently aware of the importance of diversity in art and architecture, and committed to a multidisciplinary approach to architecture bringing together people from all walks of life. »

Instituto Bardi from São Paulo

Achillina Bo, known as Lina, was born in Rome in 1914. Graduated in architecture in 1939, she moved to Milan where she met Gio Ponti. In 1944 she co-directed Domus with Carlo Pagani and with the support of Bruno Zevi she created the weekly magazine A-Attualità, Architettura, Abitazione, Arte. In 1947 Lina moved to Brazil with her husband Pietro Maria Bardi. Between 1957 and 1969 she built the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP): a large concrete and glass parallelepiped that would become one of the most iconic buildings of Brazilian Paulista architecture. One of her most famous projects is her home in São Paulo, the Casa de Vidro, a Modernist glass box built on a hill immersed in the tropical forest. Between 1977 and 1986 she designed the SESC–Fábrica da Pompéia, a giant community, recreational, cultural and sports centre. Between 1980 and 1994, she worked on the Teatro Oficina, which upended the spatial hierarchies of bourgeois theatre. Lina Bo Bardi’s was the architecture of civil commitment, architecture understood as a collective service, free of the constraints of any school of thought; an architecture that was modern and ancient at the same time, popular, vernacular and cultured, artisanal and not industrial, respectful of tradition but innovative as well. Since her death in 1992, the memory and recognition of her work has been advanced by the Instituto Bardi.

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