Confrontation between building and ground: notions of force and gravity in the work of João Vilanova Artigas

Lara Borgonovi e Silva, Toni Kotnik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


João Vilanova Artigas (1915-1985) was one of the major thinkers of Brazilian architecture. Engineer and architect, he witnessed the intense industrialization process that took place in the city of São Paulo in the twentieth century. Focused on the rapid changing urban landscape and on the possibilities offered by new construction materials – especially reinforced concrete – his designs were mostly built of large and prismatic roofs supported by strongly oblique and sometimes slender structural elements. Although highly concerned with the physical properties of building materials and with the mechanics of structures, Vilanova Artigas also aimed at addressing the social context in which he lived. He believed that architecture could express the societal dramas of his time – especially the notion of struggle, which he intended to materialize through designs that dialectically opposed the force of gravity, thus revealing a confrontation between building and ground, artifact and nature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructures and Architecture: New concepts, applications and challenges
EditorsPaulo J. da Sousa Cruz
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-415-66195-9
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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