Brazil Trip: Last day in Sao Paulo - Lina Bo Bardi Day!

October 2, 2014 | Leave your thoughts

My final day of my Brazil trip was a very special one… it was ‘an architecture moment’. I spent the day in the company of 3 other architects and we visited two works by Lina Bo Bardi (architect for the MASP building that headed the previous post). I really didn’t know anything about Lina apart from seeing sketches done by the Sao Paulo Urban Sketchers group…but I was quite blown away by her work and am wanting to know a lot more.
I have to give a huge thanks for Emma Fitzgerald (a fellow instructor at the Symposium) for really making me focus on Lina’s work and especially to Ronaldo who organised the day for us. It just the perfect ending for me trip. Claudia also joined us – making a very happy foursome!

SESC Pompéia is a cultural centre built an old factory – some buildings are original and some were built… and it is no exaggeration when it is described as ‘an oasis’.. and some place really special. There was a indescribable feeling there. Bo Bardi defined architecture as “an adventure in which people are called to intimately participate as actors” and I really felt that there.
I have a great love for Brutalist architecture and the main building at SESC Pompéia with the bold forms, angled walkways, quirky shapes windows and touches of red is just up my alley!! I was expecting to find something somewhat aged and brutal, unfriendly and lovely only to the eyes of an architect…and I really had no idea what it was all about. And well basically I was blown away by the beauty of the place… sure there is a lot of concrete (BTW I love concrete) but it was in perfect condition, the detailing and the other materials so exquisite, the spaces AND most importantly the people using the spaces were alive. I think it is a place you cannot judge until you have been there.

We had a few hours and the first sketch I did was of the model of the place… as a way of understanding how it fit together.

and then settled down to do a few sketches of the main sports centre as you can tell…

Then some quick sketches inside the main community hall. I was trying more ‘note taking sketching’ than finished pictures.

I have included some quotes on my pages from the guide we were given,

One final quick sketch before lunch – trying to include the two building forms in the one sketch.

We spent the afternoon joining a small tour of Lina’s glass house. The tour guide mostly spoke in Portugese so I didn’t follow much (any of it!) but got some snippets translated.


I decided to do non stop quick sketching – inspired by Richard (again) and also Lynne Chapman.

When I have done tours like this in the past, I want to sketch but agonize over whether I will have time to sketch at this location (how long is the tour going to talk for?… if I decide no, they stay for ages, if I decide yes they move immediately) Anyway… this time my strategy was:

start sketching at the very start of the tour and keep sketching and see what you get!

Very happy with the result – the overall output and the experience not so much every single sketch. I found it hard to go back to an architectural form of sketching, and to be working so rapidly… just had a handful of watercolour pencils in my pocket, hand and mouth! (we have to leave all our bags at the door)

An early dinner at the same Patisserie that I was at on the very first evening… and then my Brazil trip was over…had to set my alarm for 3am!

All pages from the day




Just quickly here are my sketches from my two flights home.
Standing up in a queue about to board

Quick sketch using shapes again (this time with my sable brush and water container rather than waterbrush)

Very loose sketch from the back of a QANTAS flight… I like the slick black seat backs… but somehow the aisle went missing…

What an amazing trip. Thanks for reading all my long posts. I know a lot of people wanted to go to the symposium this year but were not able to… so I wanted to share as complete a picture as I could of my experience…… I will do a wrap up post later!

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