The work of Brazilian designer Paulo Mendes da Rocha reached international recognition when he was awarded the 2006 Pritzker Architecture Prize. That same year, we introduced his Paulistano Armchair (1957) – a classic that had never before been available in the United States. This chair was originally designed for the Paulistano Athletic Club in São Paulo, Brazil. The frame, a continuous 17-foot-long piece of solid steel, is welded in a single spot. This deceptively simple structure is then wrapped in durable cotton canvas. Exceptionally comfortable, the Paulistano flexes slightly, and the sling can be adjusted up or down the frame for upright or relaxed sitting positions. The steel frame is hand-machine polished and may exhibit markings consistent with hand craftsmanship. Made in France.
Born in Brazil in 1928, Mendes da Rocha began his career in Sao Paulo in the 1950s as a member of the "Paulist brutalist" avant garde. He received a degree in architecture in 1954, opened his office in 1955 and soon thereafter created an early masterpiece, the Athletic Club of Sao Paulo (1957). Civic landmarks, museums, schools, hotels, private houses and apartment buildings followed and Mendes da Rocha took his place in the pantheon of Brazilian architects, second only perhaps to Oscar Neimeyer, designer of the capital city of Brasilia.
Mendes da Rocha has maintained a private practice, taught at the University of Sao Paulo and acted as President of the Brazilian Institute for Architects. He has received many awards, including the Mies van der Rohe prize for Latin American Architecture (2000) that first won for him international recognition. The award paid tribute to the architect's respectful renovation of the Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo's oldest fine arts museum. Read more >