Brazilian Architect
João Batista Vilanova Artigas

João Batista Vilanova Artigas is considered one of the most important architects in the history of São Paulo, and one of the founders of the Paulista School.

The Paulista School was an informal group of Brazilian architects in the 1950’s, led by Paulo Mendes da Rocha and João Vilanova Artigas, Joaquim Guedes and Oswaldo Bratke. Paulista work has a different approach from the Rio Carioca School that was also popular at the time, which followed the smooth and curvy surfaces made popular by Oscar Niemeyer. Paulistas embraced exposed reinforced concrete structures, bulkier design, and rougher finishes.

Artigas’ work can be categorized in three phases. The first phase, from 1937-1945, shows an obvious influence from Frank Lloyd Wright in residential design; from 1945 through the mid-1950s there’s a transitional phase adopting International Style for larger projects; and from the 1960s and 1970s his personal, dramatic style linked to Brutalism for large-scale public buildings, such as the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design of the University of São Paulo.

Artigas’ political views were highly influential in his life and work, having lived in exile in Peru for seven months and losing his teaching position at the University of São Paulo in 1969 during the most severe Brazilian military dictatorship. He was allowed to teach as an assistant professor in 1979 and did not regain his position as full professor until 1984, he passed away a year later.

We bring you a small selection of works both public and private, starting with a series of images of his own family home and other private houses, a school gymnasium, public pool (1975), the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design of the University of São Paulo (1961), and bus station (1973).

Images via Vilanovas Artigas