Renato Bocchi, Venecia

The works of Carla Juaçaba demonstrate an exceptional gift of this young Brazilian architect: her ability to radiographically "see" the secret skeleton of buildings and consequently design them in their extreme essentiality.
I don’t know many other architects with such a gift. Maybe this is easier to find in modern artists: an interesting case is that of the Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew.

Few features, few elements, few signs, et voilà: architecture takes matter. As a consequence the invisible manifests itself, the virtual becomes real.

The Humanidade pavilion in Rio de Janeiro is a dense scaffolding capable of holding a crowd of events, a Cedric Price’s Fun Palace that appears in front of the sea and welcomes thousands of people.

As part of the demonstrative project created with the artist Marcelo Cidade at the Storefront Gallery in New York, a collage by Carla Juaçaba seems to re-propose the Rio pavilion with even greater virtuality as a possible Ministry for All in Brasilia’s Esplanade: no longer a static and peremptory modernist building but one capable of adapting and welcoming any event.

Ministry for All, 2019

And the design action carried out on the Gallery is again a radiographic operation that lays bare, revealing a surprising Schwitters-style collage of materials, the constituent elements of the movable panels composing the famous façade designed by Steven Holl, whose concrete cladding is then brilliantly reused inside by Cidade for the installation of the exhibition.

Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York, 2019

In the intense chapel, built on San Giorgio island for the Vatican pavilion of the Biennale di Venezia 2018, Carla Juaçaba's "architectural reductionism" reaches metaphysical tones. The chapel becomes an open air space characterized by simple but very strong iconic signs: an ideogram that becomes architecture and landscape without any mediation, a place of silence and meditation.

Holy See Pavilion, Vatican Chapel, Venice 2018

Even her pavilionar houses in Brazil countryside are wonderful examples of designing with almost nothing: more than the Miesian “less is more”, scaffolds to live the landscape and breath its smell.

Distillated echoes of modern art and architecture for an hopeful eco-logical future.

Varanda House, Rio, 2007-8


Photos courtesy of Carla Juaçaba.