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Vilanova Artigas: housing and urban spaces in Brazilian modernization

Abstract

In São Paulo during the 1950s, a number of architectural projects for private residences had a significant impact on discussions concerning the relationship between architecture and the city within the context of industrial modernisation and developmentism. The work of Vilanova Artigas (1915-1985) not only brought together the greatest number of theories on potential spatial and architectural configuration in this emerging peripheral metropolis, but also had a permanent impact on Brazilian architecture from that moment onwards. This was a period of expansive growth in the occupation and urbanisation of Brazilian industrial cities and the problems thrown up by Vilanova Artigas' architecture determined the recurring architectural patterns which concentrated a wide-range of urbanity issues in buildings - and their planning and construction - which could not be controlled or changed in actual situations of territorial occupation. The aim of this paper is to propose new topics which can assist the theorisation of the difficult relation between Brazilian architecture and the accelerated development of Brazil's large cities. Brazil is currently undergoing a period of great urban transformations in the wake of recent public and private investments in cities. Which local conceptions of architecture will oppose the processes of territorial degradation, the product of the aggression of economic movements impelled by private conceptions of the collective space? (AU)

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