Architecture as Civil Commitment analyses the many ways in which Lucio Costa shaped the discourse of Brazilian modern architecture, tracing the roots, developments, and counter-marches of a singular form of engagement that programmatically chose to act by cultural means rather than by political ones.
Split into five chapters, the book addresses specific case-studies of Costa’s professional activity, pointing towards his multiple roles in the Brazilian federal government and focusing on passages of his work that are much less known outside of Brazil, such as his role inside Estado Novo bureaucracy, his leadership at SPHAN, and his participation in UNESCO’s headquarters project, all the way to the design of Brasilia.
Digging deep into the original documents, the book crafts a powerful historical reconstruction that gives the international readership a detailed picture of one of the most fascinating architects of the 20th century, in all his contradictory geniality. It is an ideal read for those interested in Brazilian modernism, students and scholars of architectural and urban planning history, socio-cultural and political history, and visual arts.
Foreword Fernando Lara
The young director of the School of Fine Arts
A discreet revolution
The Salão dos Tenentes
Report of a failure
A history to reconsider
The great public assignments and Capanema’s "dossier"
New architecture, between theory and practice
Le Corbusier and the appel à l’Autorité
Negotiations and lost opportunities
Struggles and compromises
Toward a State architecture
A genealogy of modern Brazilian architecture
A rising intellectualisation
Modernism and national heritage
Shaping national heritage
Dealing with historical pre-existence
The colonial roots of Brazilian architecture
Baroque and national personality
Art and the emancipation of the masses
In search of a new monumentality
A maquisard in urban planning
Landscape and urbanism
A new humanism