brutalist and tall

sesc pompeia by lina bo bardi

angiolo mazzoni’s work, via owen hatherley’s latest post, just reminded me of lina bo bardi’s sesc-pompéia factory in são paulo.  it should be no coincidence since both grew up in italy. while mazzoni got his commissions through his connections to the fascist party, bo was involved with the italian communist party. twenty years younger than mazzoni [b. 1894], bo [b. 1914] must have grown up with mazzoni’s railways, built mostly between 1920 and 1940 as part of the fascist regime’s public works campaign.  perry anderson [via another hatherley italian-themed post] has discussed the italian tradition of longing for a classical antiquity, and understanding culture as a passport to power.  these ideas would actually approximate the pci to the right.  appropriately, the sesc pompeia project was designed and executed during brazil’s military dictatorship of 1964-1985.  bo is not the first european architect from the left working in latin american under extreme right dictatorships, although sesc is a private institution managed by the confederação nacional do comércio.

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