LINA’S MASP: Fifty years of the building at Avenida Paulista

November 5th
mon | 10h-18h30

This seminar celebrates fifty years of the MASP building at Avenida Paulista, designed by Lina Bo Bardi and inaugurated in November 1968. The discussion will be dedicated to the architecture of the building, the impacts of its project in the daily life of São Paulo, as well as the social and political uses of its freestanding space. The architecture of MASP is defined by its collective character and the public fruition of it, expressing the positioning of Lina towards sociocultural issues and the role of architecture in such debate. Its wide, aired, and transparent spaces propose a candid contact not only with its users, but also with the population that passes by the avenue. Although time has passed and brought along social and contextual changes, such as renovations of the building itself – whether of smaller or bigger relevance regarding its values and the structural-architectural design –, it is possible to say that the Museum maintains most of its initial character until the present day.

Lina’s MASP: Fifty years of the building at Avenida Paulista is a one-day seminar comprising presentations of local and foreign curators, architects, and historians in order to discuss the building’s history, conception, and uses over the past years. The seminar is also going to present dialogues between architects and engineers who collaborated in the construction of the building and with Lina herself, as well as among photographers who are working on new series about the building, to be included in the book ensuing of this event.

Other than the book, the seminar precedes the exhibition that MASP, in partnership with Museo Jumex (Mexico) and MCA Chicago (USA), will make in 2019 about Lina Bo Bardi, in a year that the museum will be dedicated to female and feminist histories.

Organization: Adriano Pedrosa, André Mesquita, and Guilherme Giufrida


Tickets will be available two hours before the seminar at the Museum’s box office. In order to have a certificate, one needs to register her/his e-mail and full name, in addition of presenting an official document at the day of the event. The certificate will be sent for the registered e-mail at a later time.



10h10 – 12h

MARINA GRINOVER | The project of MASP: Translating an ideology of architecture and city
Departing from the premise that the building translates an idea of public space and art in the urban culture of São Paulo, we will revisit the history of its construction conducted by architect Lina Bo Bardi. The particular poetry of the museum’s headquarters at Avenida Paulista shows us the architect’s positioning towards the construction of meaning in the architectural work. An artistic and political dimension that was devised during her Italian education and by experiencing the Brazilian culture of the Sertão in the 1960s. It was during the development of the project of MASP that Lina Bo Bardi went deep into the Brazilian popular roots, finding a sere and undigestible cultural strength, yet genuinely national. The history of this project shows us the decantation of a peculiar meaning of the architectural work coalesced to an idea of national culture, citizenship, and progress that is necessarily inclusive and humanist.

EDUARDO ROSETTI | MASP: The museum in the trajectory of Lina Bo Bardi
MASP bears the most monumental aspect in terms of architecture among the works of Lina Bo Bardi. The headquarters of an institution whose architectural project is attuned with the Museum’s emancipatory, transforming, and ultimately revolutionary vocation. It is interesting to ponder about MASP as a counterpoint to other projects and works by Lina. The new headquarters of MASP is developed in a very singular moment of her professional career, time when she was in transit between São Paulo and Salvador, directing her anthropological regard to Brazilian culture, design, and the agency of a museum. Her experiences between the capital of São Paulo and the Northeastern region, between the project for the Museum of Popular Art and the School of Industrial Design and Craftmanship of Solar do Unhão, would be decisive to achieve the architecture of MASP, with further unfoldings in the architectural program of SESC Pompeia.

ZEULER DE LIMA | Reinventing the void
Lina Bo Bardi once stated that the MASP project had not been the result of an architectural extravagance. She acknowledged the advantages offered by the urban limitations of the terrain: the recreation of the historic Terraço do Trianon [Trianon Terrace] as an intermediary space between the museum and the city. Its current byname, the “void of MASP”, conveys the public character of a building and of an institution of major cultural originality in the daily life of São Paulo. Despite the clearly defined forms of the building, its ambiguous spaces have been continuously settling to the kaleidoscopic transformations of time. The empty and the full reveal the coexistence of spaces in physical and visual succession, all the while open and closed, outside and inside, in a constant reinvention of collectively shared meanings.

SILVIO OKSMAN | A contemporary look to the MASP building
Fifty years after its inauguration, the national and international acknowledgment of the MASP building is more than consolidated. At this point, it is suitable to study and understand which values of the building are comprised not only by its architecture, but by its cultural character in an all-encompassing meaning: in its social, urban, historical aspects. Such recognition is essential to the possibility of interventions oriented towards the building’s conservation and updating. Only then it will be possible to widen the museum’s action by taking care of one of its main heritages. The recent study of the structure of the building, financed by the Getty Foundation, allowed to elaborate on themes that give room to a new understanding. Still unpublished, this research brings forth information often left aside that allow to act with more safety in the preservation of the building.
12h15 – 13h15

In this session, the photographers commissioned to perform new visual series about the MASP building at Avenida Paulista will present a preview of the images they are currently working on and approach their creative processes.
14h30 – 16h

Roberto Rochlitz, engineer of the MASP building at Avenida Paulista, will talk about the construction of it, the relations between architecture and engineering, as well as stories about Lina Bo Bardi, for whom project means process. The discussion will be mediated by architects Marcelo Ferraz and Marcelos Suzuki, who have worked with her in other projects.
16h30 – 18h30

GUILHERME WISNIK | Museums without aura
The project of MASP by Lina Bo Bardi represents one of the most radical architectural experiences of “destruction of the aura” of artworks, following the steps of Walter Benjamin. A gallery of floating canvases, ordered without an evident hierarchy. A setting that counterposes the architecture of the building itself, the structures of which suspend some of its floors. An attack to the elitist character of art and museums, for the sake of an institution of excellence that sought to be popular, allowing for an immediate empathy in the relation of the audience with artworks. This research finds parallel in the project of Affonso Eduardo Reidy for the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (1953) and even starts a little earlier, in the “museum be the ocean” projected by Lina in 1951, assembling inside spaces that recall the proposition of Mies van der Rohe for the “Museum for a small city”, dated of 1943.

BARRY BERGDOLL | The Museum in the city: From temple to catalyzer
Lina Bo Bardi’s brilliant combination of a plaza to be activated and a museum as transparent urban belvedere was at once a unique accomplishment and an original contribution to the trans-Atlantic debate on the form of a museum, the display of art, and on the role of a museum in the post-World War II city. This debate began in the 1940s centered equally in Italy, an obvious source of inspiration for Lina Bo Bardi, and in the United States. It first started approaching how the museum might be a place of inclusion rather than exclusion. It is interesting to bring into the discussion of Lina’s combination of un-programmed plaza and transparent galleries, the contemporary debates in the United States, which engaged such architects as Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Friedrich Kiesler, and the Saarinens, with key art theorists as Alexander Dorner.
The year of 1968 remains as a paradigmatic in the collective memory, marked by several demonstrations formulated by a new generation that, in Europe as in the Americas, claimed for another way of living, calling into question the dominating western culture and order. 1968 is marked by the heyday of the anarchic-libertarian spirit evoked by these movements, who was being constructed during the 1960s, but also by the attempt of violently and definitively suffocating it. 1968 coincides with the year MASP was inaugurated. How is this work marked by the historical events of that time? Such is the question approached in this presentation, leaning upon Lina Bo Bardi’s drawings for the museum to understand how it claims for freedom and utopia along with a whole generation of artists and intellectuals, while denouncing the obscure events of its time.


Barry Bergdoll
Professor of Modern Architectural History at Columbia University and curator in the department of Architecture and Design at the MoMA. At MoMA, he has organized, curated, and consulted on several major exhibitions, including Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 (2015), Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive (2017), and earlier Mies in Berlin (2001). His publications include European Architecture 1750-1890, in the Oxford History of Art series (2001). He served as president of the Society of Architectural Historians from 2006-2008 and Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in winter 2011. 

Eduardo Rosetti
Architect and urbanist with bachelor’s degree from FAU/PUC-Campinas (1999), master’s degree from FAU-UFBA (2002), PhD from FAU-USP (2007), and post-doctorate from FAU-UnB (2008-2009). Associate professor at FAU-UnB, where he is also accredited to the post-grad program and member of LABEURBE. His main interests relate with history, theory, and project, approaching themes as modern architecture, Brasília, heritage, contemporary architecture, and housing in Brazil. Author of several articles, in addition of the books Arquiteturas de Brasília (ITS, 2012) and Palácio Itamaraty: a arquitetura da diplomacia (ITS, 2017).

Guilherme Wisnik
Professor at FAU-USP, columnist of newspaper Folha de S. Paulo (2006-2007 and 2016), and author of books like Lucio Costa (Cosac Naify, 2001) and Espaço em obra: cidade, arte, arquitetura (Edições Sesc SP, 2018). Curated the exhibitions Cildo Meireles: rio oir at Itaú Cultural (2011), Paulo Mendes da Rocha: a natureza como projeto at Museu Vale (2012), Pedra no céu: arte e a arquitetura de Paulo Mendes da Rocha at Museu Brasileiro da Escultura (2017), and Infinito vão: arquitetura brasileira e contemporânea at Casa da Arquitectura de Portugal (2018). He was also the chief curator of the 10th Architecture Biennial of São Paulo (2013).

Lucia Guanaes
Graduate of École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. Along with Marc Dumas, is in charge of the graphic design studio Tout pour Plaire, based in Paris. She is the author of Brasil-Brésil (Ed. Marval, 1989) and, also in partnership with Marc Dumas, published Inventaire d’une Poubelle (Média intimes, 1992); the CD-ROM Au cœur de Bahia en 2000 (winner of the Grand Prix Möbius Amérique Latine and of the special jury prize at Prix Möbius International); as well as São Paulo de todas as sombras (Briquet de Lemos, 2013). Between 2000 and 2006, undertook the projects Fronteiras do mar, Popular, Transfigurações, and Paranapiacaba. Her photographs are part of the collection of Pinacoteca de São Paulo and the MASP-Pirelli collection.

Luiza Baldan
Visual artist, PhD candidate in Visual Languages at UFRJ, holder of a master’s degree from the same institution and with a bachelor’s degree from FIU-USA. Among her exhibitions are Perabé, shortlisted at Prêmio Pipa, held in MAM Rio de Janeiro (2016) and CCSP (2015); Cruzamentos, at The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, USA (2014); Índice, at MAM Rio de Janeiro (2013); and Lugar Nenhum, at IMS Rio de Janeiro (2013). She was awarded the prizes Art and Heritage by the IPHAN; Funarte Scholarship of Incentive to Visual Arts (2013); Rumos for Visual Arts 2011-2013 by Itaú Cultural/CRAC Valparaíso Residency (2012); XII Marc Ferrez Photography Prize from Funarte (2010). She is the author of the books Derivadores, along with Jonas Arrabal (Automática, 2016), and São Casas (Automática, 2012). 

Marcelo Ferraz
Graduate of FAU-USP, he collaborated with Lina Bo Bardi from 1977 to 1992. He is the founder of the architectural firm Brasil Arquitetura (1979), with some of his projects awarded in Brazil and abroad, such as the Yellow Neighborhood in Berlin, Museu Rodin Bahia in Salvador, Museu do Pão in Ilópolis, Villa Isabella in Helsinki, and Praça das Artes in São Paulo – winner of the APCA Prize 2013 and Icon Awards of Building of the Year 2013. He is also the founder of Marcenaria Baraúna (1986), where he designs and produces wood furniture. Among his books are Arquitetura Rural na Serra da Mantiqueira (Instituto Lina Bo Bardi, 1996) and Arquitetura Conversável (Azougue, 2011).

Marcelo Suzuki
Graduate of Architecture and Urbanism at FAU-USP (1980), and holder of a PhD from the same institution (2010). Works as a professor of project in the Architecture and Urbanism Institute of USP São Carlos and Centro Universitário SENAC – Santo Amaro, where he also coordinates the Industrial Design course. As a professional of architecture and urbanism, he continues to design several projects of housing, as well as institutional, industrial, and commercial buildings. He also designs furniture and equipment intended for different uses and environments, and took part in many exhibitions of art, culture, and design. His production also includes academic texts and other publications. 

Marina Grinover
Graduate of Architecture and Urbanism at FAU-USP, and holder of a master’s degree and PhD from the same institution. Worked as a researcher at Instituto Bardi in 2008, and authored the books Uma ideia de arquitetura, escritos de Lina Bo Bardi (Annablume, 2018) and Lina por escrito, along with Silvana Rubino (Cosac Naify, 2009). Since 2006, she works as a professor at Escola da Cidade, at FAU-USP (2016 and 2017), and currently at FAAP; in 2018, she is also a visiting professor at the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. Founding member of the firm Base Urbana since 2007. Among the prizes obtained are the APCA 2014 for the reurbanization project of Favela do Sapé, 1st Renova SP Prize (2011), and 1st Parque Estadual do Cocó Prize (2017).

Nair Benedicto
With a major degree in Communication – Radio and TV from ECA-USP, she is one of the founders of Agência F4 de Fotojornalismo e Documentação (1978-1991). The main goal of her works are social issues, women, children, and ecology, specially in Latin America. She was part of the founding group of Nafoto, with the purpose of inserting Brazilian photography in the international circuit, and organizing the International Month of Photography for more than twenty years. Her works are featured in national and international magazines, as well as in the collections of museums like MASP, MAM Rio de Janeiro, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and MoMa New York.

Olivia de Oliveira
Architect based in Lausanne, Switzerland, associate of the firm Butikofer de Oliveira Vernay. Author of the monographic publication on the built works of Lina Bo Bardi (Barcelona, 2002) and the book Subtle substances: The architecture of Lina Bo Bardi (Gustavo Gili, 2006), winner of the prize of IAB-SP (2006) and shortlisted in the Royal Institute of British Architects Prize (2007). She is currently a visiting professor at the post-grad program of the Architecture College of Universidade Federal da Bahia. As part of this research, she organized a seminar of bilateral cooperation between FAU-UFBA and the École Politécnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which also comprised two international project workshops and one exhibition held in November 2017.

Roberto Rochlitz
Civil Engineer graduate from the Polytechnical School of USP. Structural planner and calculator for major works like Hotel Sheraton in Rio de Janeiro, Centro Empresarial de São Paulo, Condomínio Ilha do Sul, the steel mills of Açominas and Tubarão. Worked as advising supervisor of the Urban Politics Commission of the City Chamber of São Paulo and published the works “O Concreto de Alta Resistência do Edifício Trianon – MASP” and “Prestressed Structures of the Centro Empresarial de São Paulo – Brazil”. He also worked as instructor of the course Bridges and Tridimensional Structures at the Polytechnical School of USP.

Silvio Oksman
Architect and urbanist, partner at the firm Metrópole Arquitetos. Holder of a master’s degree and a PhD from FAU-USP, he has been dedicating himself to issues related with the preservation of cultural heritage, specially regarding modern architecture. He received the Domus Prize silver medal in Italy, for the restoration project of the headquarters of IAB-SP, and was also the coordinator of the conservation plan of the structure of the MASP building, financed by The Getty Foundation as part of the Keeping It Modern program. Between 2013 and 2017, he worked as an advising member of Condephaat and Conpresp. Currently teaches at Escola da Cidade.

Zeuler de Lima
Educator, researcher, architect, artist, and curator, having collaborated with several cultural institutions and universities in Brazil, United States, Europe, and Japan. As the biographer of Lina Bo Bardi, he is dedicated to a broad research on her life and work for nearly two decades now, including books, catalogs, and exhibitions, among which there is an exhibition about her drawings and designs being prepared for the Fondació Joan Miró, in Barcelona (2019).