Page N1.3. 12 April 2006                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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  • Paulo Mendes da Rocha Pritzker Prize
  • New Hampshire AIA Awards 2006
  • Palladio Awards 2006


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    Paulo Mendes da Rocha Pritzker Prize


    He quickly built a career in designing at every scale from furniture and theater sets to major sports venues and urban districts. He has designed houses, schools, apartment buildings, and museums. Though most of his work is in Brazil, he is also architect of the 1969 Brazilian Pavilion for the International Expo in Osaka, Japan.

    As a professor at the School of Architecture at the University of São Paulo, he influenced students with his social and humanistic views but was forced to resign in 1969 by the military dictatorship that governed Brazil. He resumed teaching in 1980 and continued until his retirement in 1999.

    Today at 78, Mendes da Rocha lives in São Paulo, and remains active in the profession. He is currently working on a master plan for the University of Vigo in the north of Spain. His task is to integrate new buildings — library, engineering departments, student residences, administration offices — designed by several different Spanish architects into an overall landscape scheme that fosters connections between the buildings.

    His work has been published in many magazines and books including the English-language book Mendes da Rocha, by Josep Maria Montaner.

    The Pritzker Architecture Prize was established by The Hyatt Foundation in 1979 to honor living architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.

    Previous Laureates include Fumihiko Maki of Japan, Norman Foster of the United Kingdom, Glenn Murcutt of Australia, Kevin Roche of the United States, And da Rocha's countryman, Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil. The Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul Will Be the Site of the 2006 Pritzker Architecture Prize Ceremony in May.

    The jury that selected Paulo Mendes da Rocha as the 2006 Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate consists of its chairman, Lord Palumbo, chairman of the trustees, Serpentine Gallery in London; Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi, architect, planner and professor of architecture of Ahmedabad, India; Rolf Fehlbaum, chairman of the board, Vitra in Basel, Switzerland; Frank O. Gehry, architect and 1989 Pritzker laureate from Los Angeles, California; Carlos Jimenez, professor, Rice University School of Architecture and principal of Carlos Jimenez Studio in Houston, Texas; Victoria Newhouse, founder and director of the Architectural History Foundation, New York; and Karen Stein, editorial director of Phaidon Press in New York.


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    ArchWeek Image

    Chapel of Saint Peter (1987) in Campos de Jordão, Brazil is now a fine art museum. Its limited material palette — concrete, glass and steel — adds to the building's message of strength and simplicity.
    Photo: Cristiano Mascaro

    ArchWeek Image

    Chapel of Saint Peter with reflecting pool.
    Photo: Cristiano Mascaro

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    Chapel of Saint Peter looks out to the Mantiquera mountains.
    Photo: Cristiano Mascaro

    ArchWeek Image

    Chapel of Saint Peter rests on one massive column around which the spaces flow.
    Photo: Cristiano Mascaro

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    University of Vigo master plan.
    Photo: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

    ArchWeek Image

    Studies for the Paris bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.
    Image: Paulo Mendes da Rocha

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    The Brazilian Sculpture Museum (1988) is nestled partly underground in a garden in São Paulo. Large concrete slabs create both interior spaces and the exterior plaza with pools of water and esplanade.
    Photo: Nelson Kon

    ArchWeek Image

    Inside São Paulo's Forma Store (1987), views are unobstructed as in a museum.
    Photo: Nelson Kon

    ArchWeek Image

    The Brazilian Pavilion for Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan is a series of intersecting concrete arches supported by a flowing topography.
    Photo: Fujita Gumi

    ArchWeek Image

    Architect's sketch for the Brazilian Pavilion in Osaka.
    Image: Paulo Mendes da Rocha


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