December 5, 2014
Lina Bo Bardi's 100th Birthday
Pioneering modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi was born in Italy in 1914 but spent much of her life in Brazil. She graduated from the University of Rome in 1939 and worked as an illustrator during World War II. Shortly after the war, she traveled to South America and decided to establish an architecture firm in Brazil. There, she designed many iconic buildings, including one of her most famous works, the São Paulo Museum of Art. The local legislature was worried that the museum would block views of the city, so Bo Bardi suspended the building high above a public square.
Beyond her career as an architect, Bo Bardi was also a publisher, teacher, and politically activist in both Italy and Brazil. She saw architecture as an expression of people's lives. "I believe in an international community of interests, in a concert of all the private voices," she said. She noted that "architecture and architectural freedom are above all a social issue that must be seen from inside a political structure, not from outside it."