Architecture as Civil Commitment analyzes the many ways in which 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 at his multiples role 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 at UNESCO’s headquarter 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. 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.
Table of Contents
Foreword Fernando Lara
- The start of a militant career: the direction of the School of Fine Arts
The young director of the School of Fine Arts
A discreet revolution
The Salão dos Tenentes
Report of a failure
- Reasons of the new architecture: Gustavo Capanema’s grands travauxs
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
- A programme for national architecture: the years of the Estado Novo
Struggles and compromises
Toward a State architecture
A genealogy of modern Brazilian architecture
A rising intellectualisation
Modernism and national heritage
- A strategy of mediation: between the CIAM and the SPHAN
Shaping national heritage
Dealing with historical pre-existence
The colonial roots of Brazilian architecture
Baroque and national personality
- Shaping the true Machine Age: art, city, landscape
Art and the emancipation of the masses
In search of a new monumentality
A maquisard in urban planning
Landscape and urbanism
A new humanism
About the Series
Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- ARCHITECTURE / General