On my way back from Bo Bardi's house, I decided to stop by the University of Sao Paulo campus and take a look at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. The building was designed by one of the Brazilian modernist masters - João Batista Vilanova Artigas - in 1969. Just like in Lina Bo Bardi's MASP building, the social ideas of community and open discussion were prioritized over enclosed private spaces. And just like the MASP, the FAU (as it's called) embodied an enticing contradiction - the sense of lightness emanated from the building in spite of the béton brut. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the permeability and openness of the entire structure. Even though I've seen numerous photographs and drawings of the building, it wasn't until I visited it in real life that I truly grasped the spatial and social ideas Artigas envisioned. The grand central atrium was meant not only for the display of student work, but also for large public gatherings and cultural events. Unfortunately, the beautiful concrete ceiling was in a process of repair and my experience was somewhat hindered by an ugly plastic screen. Nevertheless, the building filled me with awe and inspiration.
Seamless transition between the exterior and interior spaces: