The Mayor's House

Every time I open the Jan/Feb '03 issue of Wallpaper*:The Hot 100 I am drawn to a feature on "The Mayor's House" by the brazilian architect Joaquim Guedes. The two pictures of the house shown in the magazine are mayor3.jpg and mayor4.jpg at It is a phenomenal looking building and, as with many other great works, it would be fascinating to know what the client brief was. I can find precious little about it on the web but according to Wallpaper* it was built for the mayor of Sao Paulo in 1971.

Although the choice to commission a house can be seen as a statement in itself, the pictures seem to show a house conceived simply as a shelter from the elements. I searched to try to get an idea of how enlightened the Mayor was but came up with nothing. Good or bad though, the Mayor commissioned a house with integrity. Therein lies it's beauty and the rare exception to an opinion of Le Corbusier, that "The twentieth century hasn't built for men, it has been built for money."

Posted by Paul at April 8, 2003 02:58 PM |
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Dear Paul,
I'm a Brazilian architect & critic, from São Paulo, Brazil. Just to ease up your curiosity: this Joaquim Guedes house was originally designed in 1973 to another client, and some years after bought by a couple that, as it happens, now is divorced - the former husband is a senator, the former wife is our present mayor. It is really beautiful.
After Brasilia (1960) a group of São Paulo architects leaded another Brazilian avant-gard architectural trend, with brutalist flavour but truly original, that is unjustly unkown outside Brazil. This house is just one of its superb works.

Ruth Verde Zein

Posted by: ruth verde zein at January 14, 2004 06:56 PM