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15ª Bienal Internacional de Arquitetura de Veneza

The decision was made by the Board of Directors of La Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the Curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition Alejandro Aravena.

Amongst other points, the motivations note that “the most striking attribute of his architecture is its Timelessness. Many  decades  after  being  built,  each of his  projects have resisted  the test  of  time,  both  stylistically  and physically. This astonishing  consistency  may  be  the  consequence  of  his  ideological  integrity  and  his  structural  genius.  He  is  a  nonconformist  challenger  and  simultaneously a passionate realist. His fields of interest are beyond architecture, in political, social, geographical, historical and technical realms. The role model he played for many generations of architects in Brazil, Latin America and everywhere is that of a person able to join shared and collective efforts as well as someone able to attract others to the cause of a better built environment."

The acknowledgment will be awarded to Paulo Mendes da Rocha on Saturday May 28th 2016 at Ca’ Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale di Venezia, during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 15th Exhibition, which will open to the public at 10:00 am on that same day.

Official website of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: www.labiennale.org

Official hashtag: #biennalearchitettura2016

Biographical note

Paulo Mendes da Rocha spent his childhood between the city of Vitória, the harbour capital of Espírito Santo where he was born in October 1928 at his maternal grandparents’ house, and Paquetá Island, in the middle of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, the national capital, where the Mendes da Rocha family lived.

The architect’s family moved to the city of  São Paulo in 1940, where his father Paulo Menezes Mendes da Rocha was appointed Chair of the Naval and Harbour Resources of the Polytechnic School of the Universidade de São Paulo, which he directed from 1943 to 1947.

Still in São Paulo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha graduated from the Mackenzie Architecture School in 1954 and was able to build a solid carrier as a designer of houses, schools, apartment buildings, museums, furniture, theatre sets and several urban projects.

After graduation, he won a national project competition in 1957 for the construction of a gymnasium, the Clube Atlético Paulistano. This work brought him public recognition and also won the Grande Prêmio Presidência da Repúblicaat the 6thBienal of São Paulo in 1961.

In 1968, the architect won the national project competition for the Brazilian pavilion at Osaka Expo 70 and traveled to that city to follow the construction development in 1969.

Amongst several international honours, he has been awarded the Honorary Fellowship from the Conselho Internacional dos Arquitetos de Língua Portuguesa, The Mies Van der Rohe Foundation Prize for his project for São Paulo’s Pinacoteca. Furthermore, he was selected in 2000 to represent Brazil at the 7thInternational Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2006.

In Brazil, the architect was twice honoured with the Ordem do Mérito Cultural, in 2004 and 2013. He also received the Troféu APCA (Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte) twice, in 2012 and 2015.

Whilst working as an architect, Mendes da Rocha joined the world of academia thanks to his good friend, Vilanova Artigas, one of Brazil’s most remarkable architects. Both architects enhanced the Paulo Mendes da Rocha Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Awards ceremony on Saturday May 28th, 2016

Paulo Mendes da Rocha is the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia – REPORTING FROM THE FRONT.

The decision was made by the Board of Directors of La Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the Curator of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition Alejandro Aravena.

Amongst other points, the motivations note that “the most striking attribute of his architecture is its Timelessness. Many  decades  after  being  built,  each of his  projects have resisted  the test  of  time,  both  stylistically  and physically. This astonishing  consistency  may  be  the  consequence  of  his  ideological  integrity  and  his  structural  genius.  He  is  a  nonconformist  challenger  and  simultaneously a passionate realist. His fields of interest are beyond architecture, in political, social, geographical, historical and technical realms. The role model he played for many generations of architects in Brazil, Latin America and everywhere is that of a person able to join shared and collective efforts as well as someone able to attract others to the cause of a better built environment."

The acknowledgment will be awarded to Paulo Mendes da Rocha on Saturday May 28th 2016 at Ca’ Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale di Venezia, during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 15th Exhibition, which will open to the public at 10:00 am on that same day.

Official website of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition: www.labiennale.org

Official hashtag: #biennalearchitettura2016

Biographical note

Paulo Mendes da Rocha spent his childhood between the city of Vitória, the harbour capital of Espírito Santo where he was born in October 1928 at his maternal grandparents’ house, and Paquetá Island, in the middle of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, the national capital, where the Mendes da Rocha family lived.

The architect’s family moved to the city of  São Paulo in 1940, where his father Paulo Menezes Mendes da Rocha was appointed Chair of the Naval and Harbour Resources of the Polytechnic School of the Universidade de São Paulo, which he directed from 1943 to 1947.

Still in São Paulo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha graduated from the Mackenzie Architecture School in 1954 and was able to build a solid carrier as a designer of houses, schools, apartment buildings, museums, furniture, theatre sets and several urban projects.

After graduation, he won a national project competition in 1957 for the construction of a gymnasium, the Clube Atlético Paulistano. This work brought him public recognition and also won the Grande Prêmio Presidência da Repúblicaat the 6thBienal of São Paulo in 1961.

In 1968, the architect won the national project competition for the Brazilian pavilion at Osaka Expo 70 and traveled to that city to follow the construction development in 1969.

Amongst several international honours, he has been awarded the Honorary Fellowship from the Conselho Internacional dos Arquitetos de Língua Portuguesa, The Mies Van der Rohe Foundation Prize for his project for São Paulo’s Pinacoteca. Furthermore, he was selected in 2000 to represent Brazil at the 7thInternational Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2006.

In Brazil, the architect was twice honoured with the Ordem do Mérito Cultural, in 2004 and 2013. He also received the Troféu APCA (Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte) twice, in 2012 and 2015.

Whilst working as an architect, Mendes da Rocha joined the world of academia thanks to his good friend, Vilanova Artigas, one of Brazil’s most remarkable architects. Both architects enhanced the School of Architecture of the Universidade de São Paulo with their social and humanistic views, which have had a major influence on many generations of architects and artists to come.

After receiving the title of Doctor from the Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo in 1998, his contribution to higher education is attested by the several invitations to international universities:

2001 Professor ad Honorem of the Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad de la República del Uruguay

2007 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidade Presbeteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo

2009 Doctor Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina

2010 Professor Emeritus, Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo, USP

2011 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Architecture and Urbanism "Ion Mincu", Bucharest, Romania

2012 Doctor Honoris Causa for distinction in the arts, science, culture, human rights, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina

2015 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lisbon.

Paulo Mendes da Rocha ganha o prêmio Leão de Ouro, em Veneza, pelo conjunto da obra

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15th International Architecture Exhibition
Venza, Itália

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