Guto, columnist for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo: Ugly Architecture, Sick City

Ugly Architecture, Sick City


foto: Jan Egilkiekebo; fonte:

A common vision we have of São Paulo while walking, driving, or riding our bikes or the bus, is of buildings crowded with innumerable tiny windows, each one much like the others. The buildings are standardized in a repetition of forms-orthogonal clusters of various greys all on the same theme.

The architecture of São Paulo is, in general, boring, by-the-book and pretentious. And when we have the chance to create interesting and innovative works, we chose the absolutely irrelevant.  For example, the new subway stations, or the capital’s new SESC installations.  No truly exemplary building has been erected here since the SESC Pompeia, designed in 1977 by the architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992).

If architecture expresses the culture, ideals and identity of a people, then it is quite sad that today we are impoverished in this area, to the point that we only take pride in the past.  The MASP building (1968, also by Lina Bo Bardi), the Biennale building in Ibirapuera Park (1957, Oscar Niemeyer) and the modernist residences of Higienópolis are still considered to be contemporary architecture.

Of course significant initiatives do exist, such as the recently opened Plaza of the Arts, the firm Brasil Arquitetura, and the contemporary residential experiments of developer Idea Zarvos in Vila Madalena. But few entrepreneurs are concerned with the design of their investments and how they relate to the city.

Creating good architecture is not a question of money. It’s true that political will and stricter regulations that support new ventures are in short supply, as well as entrepreneurial boldness and public and private contests that encourage fresh ideas and young firms. And, crucially, education is lacking. A city that neglects its architecture is a sick city.

(Guto Requena)




foto: Andres Otero; fonte:

Captura de tela 2013-03-06 às 10.41.13


blog4Edificio Cinderela, (Artacho Jurado/Higienópolis) foto: Hélio Bertolucci Jr


blog6Edifico Louveira (Vilanova Artigas/Higienópolis); foto: Jonny Kakkoii


blog7Praça das Artes (Brasil Arquitetura) fonte

blog8360º (Idea!Zarvos); fonte:


Fidalga 72 (Idea!Zarvos); fonte:

blog10Simpatia 236 (Idea!Zarvos); fonte:


Baixo Augusta; foto: Filipe Araújo/AE; fonte:


1 comment
  1. Fabio Sandrin said:

    Excelente post.
    Chega a assustar a padronização da arquitetura nas grandes cidades, exatamente como foi descrito no post, repetiçoes de caixas com janelas, sem inovação, que não criam nenhum interesse visual.
    Interessante ver o que está sendo feito na China e em outros paises, obras ousadas (bonitas ou não), que usam as formas para quebrar paradigmas!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: