Paulo Mendes da Rocha of Sao Paulo, Brazil, inspired by the principles and language of modernism, as well as through his bold use of simple materials, has over the past six decades produced buildings with a deep understanding of the poetics of space. He modifies the landscape and space with his architecture, striving to meet both social and aesthetic human needs.
Whether individual homes or apartments, to a church, sports stadium, art museum, kindergarten, furniture showroom or public plaza, Mendes da Rocha has devoted his career to the creation of architecture guided by a sense of responsibility to the inhabitants of his projects as well as to a broader society.
Adhering to a social vision commensurate with the new world, he reminds us that architecture is foremost a human endeavor inspired by nature’s omnipresence. The vast territory of his country has given this architect a rich lineage to harness and reconcile nature and architecture as congruent forces.
His signature concrete materials and intelligent, yet remarkably straightforward construction methods create powerful and expressive, internationally-recognized buildings. There is no doubt that the raw materials he uses in achieving monumental results have had influences the world over.
He has also proven his mastery of restoration and renovation, reaffirming his understanding and respect for his country’s legacy and his own belief in the relevancy of the architecture of our time. Mendes da Rocha looks at history as it relates to the future. He has dedicated himself to a search for a synthesis of design and form that is as beautiful as it is technically perfect.
In his own words, his definition of architecture is “…the transformation of nature, a total fusion of science, art and technology in a sublime statement of human dignity and intelligence through the settlements we build for ourselves…”
All of these qualities and accomplishments have qualified him as the recipient of the 2006 Pritzker Architecture Prize.