Paulo Mendes da Rocha, born October 25th, 1928 in Vitória, is a Brazilian architect. In 2006 he was honored with the Pritzker Prize, and in 2000 with the Mies van der Rohe Prize. Paulo attended the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie College of Architecture, graduating in 1954.
Working almost exclusively in Brazil, Mendes da Rocha has been producing buildings since 1957, many of them built in concrete, a method some call "Brazilian Brutalist" arguably allowing buildings to be constructed cheaply and quickly. He has contributed many notable cultural buildings to São Paulo, Brazil and is widely credited as enhancing and revitalizing the city. Among his widely known built works is the Museum of Contemporary Art (1975) at the University of São Paulo, the Forma Furniture showroom (1987) in São Paulo and the Brazilian Sculpture Museum (1987-1992).
In the imaginative modernist spirit that marks his buildings, Mendes da Rocha designed the Paulistano Armchair (1957) to be part of the living rooms of the Athletic Club of São Paulo. Made by bending a single steel bar and attaching a leather seat and back, the elegant sling chair pushes the limits of structural form, yet remains completely comfortable and functional.
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