Legendary Brazilian Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha Passes Away

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FIESP Building, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha passed away Sunday, May 23rd at the age of 92. Mendes da Rocha died in a Sao Paulo hospital of lung cancer.

The highly-awarded architect is seen by many as one of the greatest Brazilian architects, coming second only to Oscar Niemeyer.

Born in 1928, Mendes da Rocha was part of an iconic generation of modernists and was globally regarded as a major architect despite having rarely built anything outside of his native Brazil.

Pinacoteca Sao Paulo

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The Paulista School of Brazilian architecture, which he was part of, was generally characterized by exposed reinforced concrete, large open spaces, and rational structures. Mendes da Rocha's propensity to work with large expanses of raw concrete led to many associations with Brazilian brutalism, which the late architect did not care for.

Among Mendes da Rocha's greatest works are the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Sao Paulo and the Athletic Club of Sao Paulo.

Pinacoteca Interior

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Mendes da Rocha's work was duly noted and lauded throughout the world. Notably, he won the Mies van Der Rohe Award for Latin America for his renovation of the State Museum of Sao Paulo in 2001 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2006.

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