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"From Concept to Practice"


Achillina Bo, better known as Lina Bo Bardi, was an Italian-Brazilian architect who was born in Rome, while the country lived the beginning of World War I. She married art critic Pietro Maria Bardi, with whom she moved to Brazil in 1946. Lina remained active throughout her life until 1992, when she died of a 77-year-old pulmonary embolism.

Lina Bo Bardi studied architecture at the University of Rome in the 1930s. However, for fear of facist expansion in the city, she decided to move to Milan where she began her professional career. But two blows reached it in this period: the fall in the demand of the works by the account of World War II and later its office to be bombarded in the year of 1943.

2 Lina Bo Bardi Retrato

Fleeing from the scene of a destroyed Italy in the mid-1940s, the artist then moved to São Paulo and became a Brazilian in 1951. Since in Italy there was no space for construction, but only destruction at the beginning of her career, it is here that she makes her first architectural projects, such as the House of Glass and pieces for furniture.

At the end of the 1950s, Lina moved to Salvador where she remained until 1964. This period was a milestone in her career, when she lived with the intellectual embryo of the tropicalist movement and can have real contact with the people’s root culture Brazilian. Such an experience shapes the mind of the architect and has a strong influence on her future projects.

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What aesthetic movement influenced it?


Lina began her professional career in Italy in the office of Gió Ponti, which introduced her to an intellectual and artistic avant-garde environment, among the rationalist movement of architecture, the birth of neo-realist cinema, among others. It is within this universe of European historical vanguards that Lina Bo Bardi creates her first references.

It happens that when Lina comes to Brazil in 1946, she is confronted with the Brazilian modernist movement, which, although strongly influenced by the European movement, has developed its own and quite distinct characteristics.

It was a modernist movement without the clutches of the recent world wars. And it is in this other modernism that Lina dives when she arrives in Brazil – with all the erudition of her European formation – in search of freedom of creation.

After a few years living in Brazil, deeply embedded in Brazilian modernism, a new milestone takes place in the life of the architect who definitively changes her form of creation, which was her passage through northeastern Brazil.

It is in the state of Bahia that she finds a place hitherto unknown to most Brazilians. It was Brazil of the poverty of means and material goods on the one hand, and rich in creative sap and the joy of living on the other.

In Bahia, the artist got in touch with Glauber Rocha, Caetano Veloso, Maria Bethânia, Gilberto Gil, among others, which made Lina want to overcome “cultural snobbery” and the “conservative inertia of the South” to achieve an aesthetic as well most popular.

This period is remarkable in the life of the architect, who begins to seek as an authentic trait a union of anthropology and the traits of Brazilianness of the people with modernist architecture in their works.




“The past does not return. Important are the continuity and perfect knowledge of its history.”


Lina Bo Bardi

How did she develop her own style?


Lina Bo Bardi spent her entire life in transit, navigating between locations and different worldviews.

His actions and his thinking have traced the inside and outside of modern culture, materialized in the communication between innovation and tradition, abstraction and realism, as well as between melancholic feelings and revolutionary impulses.

It had as characteristic to work with rustic materials, like the concrete, the glass and the wood. He also brought in aesthetic innovations that were in dialogue with his period, such as the use of exposed wiring, the apparent structure in the works and the application of concrete and brick as coatings.

His constructed works, often of ambivalent character, resulted from complex negotiation processes and were conceived in a hybrid way. She took the aesthetic simplicity of Modernism in architecture and turned it into a dialogue of the modern with the popular.

Like the work of Lina Bo Bardi inspires senplo ™

• The desire to develop a democratic aesthetic

• The search for harmony between tradition and innovation

• The search for hybrid forms

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