Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

220 × 171 × 20 mm
288 pages
190 illustrations
01 Feb 2009
Modern Architectures in History
  • £25.00

  • This edition is currently unavailable

Brazil Modern Architectures in History Richard J. Williams

Set against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty, Brazil’s striking Modernist architecture has long garnered international acclaim. But these well-known works are not fully reflective of the built environment of Brazil, and in this volume, Richard Williams unearths the surprisingly rich and influential architectural heritage of Brazil.

Spanning the period from the 1930s to the present, Williams focuses on key issues such as the use of historic architecture, the importance of leisure and luxury, the role of the favela as a backdrop and inspiration for development, the growth of cities, and the legacy of Brazil’s Modernist architecture. He examines the variety of Modernist works in Brazil, including those by renowned architects such as Niemeyer and Costa and many others, including Roberto Burle Marx, Vilanova Artigas, Lina Bo Bardi, the Arquitectura Nova group and Paolo Mendes da Rocha. Williams also focuses on more recent buildings by architects including Jaime Lerner, João Filgueiras Lima and Ruy Ohtake and considers the future of Modernist architecture in Brazil. From the designated world heritage site of Brasilia, a capital city that was planned from the ground up, to the installation work of artists such as Helio Oiticica, Brazil explores in depth the origins and complex meaning of Brazil’s architectural Modernism.

At a moment when the role of Latin America in global business and culture is growing in importance and attention, Brazil is an essential read for all scholars of architecture and Latin American history.

‘Williams is attentive to the complex, plural and contradictory character of modernism in Brazil . . . an engaging, creative and informative book.’ — Journal of Design History

‘With this unbiased though not dispassionate history covering the 1930s to the present, Richard Williams considers Brazilian architectures modernity within an expanded framework of Brazil’s cultural and political movements. In this way, he breaks through the frozen narratives of Brazilian history, questioning canonical definitions of modernity, and taking into account the complexities of this vast country. Brazil is a hugely welcome, refreshing and penetrating book.’ — Ruth Verde Zein, architect and critic, Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design, Mackenzie University, São Paulo

Show all

Richard J. Williams is Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. His most recent books are Why Cities Look the Way They Do (2019), The Architecture of Art History (with Mark Crinson, 2018), and Sex and Buildings (2013).

The Politics of the Past
The Politics of Eros
Brasilia, or the Politics of Progress
The Aesthetics of Poverty
The Politics of Liberation
The Politics of Spectacle
The Politics of Public Space
Brazil's Legacies
Select Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements