TOWERS, SLABS AND SLICES OF STREET FACE
architect conceives an imaginary city of his own. The buildings in that
city are his and those of his peers. He often makes both kinds. He marks
down each building he does on his city plan which is like a score card.
These twenty slices of street face, slabs and temporary towers are some
of the buildings I have invented which belong in the denser areas of my
own imaginary city. They are the shops, offices and apartments of that
Prédio lsauro Lopes is the first of the big pillared,
large span buildings. It consists of many tiny apartments, a few larger
ones, offices, a service station, a garage and workshops.
Associaçâo dos Naturais Clubhouse was
to be a machine for raising and mixing cultures and for languid
tropical delights, all on a small site bound by many town planning
commandments. This heap was to roar and mumble, laugh and whisper,
with the voices and ideas of ten thousand people: in the loud metallic
café on the street side; in the steep intellectual auditorium;
in the pin-balling, ping-pong-tabled youth branch; in the double
storied library swot boxes; in the committed class rooms; in the
clattering newspaper offices; in the back to front, stained, printing
room; in the quiet soft floored hostel's corridors. A naked grey
raw concrete house with bright visceral mauve red and pink insides;
round eyed, much slitted many nozzled. A building swarming with
people, with faces looking out at windows, nattering, watching and
did not manage to make a beginning even later, when we attempted
to make a start from the back.
Prédio Spence e Lemos is an office building on
a corner site facing north west and north east. The problem of the
façades was to screen the windows from too much sun throughout
the day and conceal the air conditioning units.
Jose da Costa Building stopped at the second floor
but was all set to take on another five at the drop of a loan.
Octavio Lobo Building is a narrow slice of offices,
a building for hire, a carcass to be stuffed with business. The
street face is screened from the late afternoon's low diagonal sun
by vertical translucent marble discs - the other sheltered from
the high angled noon sun by horizontal marble bands.
Prédio Spanos was to have housed many companies
run by a local family, all their shops and sales rooms, printing
presses and offices. Elements hang out of the facade to screen the
windows from direct sunlight.
Prédio Abreu Santos e Rocha began as a soft
building of many purposes. It was later conceived as two apartment
boxes over double - storied shops. The first stage was to be two
floors of apartments over the shops. When it was finished it was
offices a few shops and a large service station instead. It had
by then changed faces considerably. Later it went up another five
floors of offices. The two pebble murals grew up with the five new