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Capela Ingá-Mirin, Itupeva, Brazil by Messina Rivas

Emerging Brazilian practices find various tactics to gain footing in an evermore diverse architectural scene

Rodrigo Messina and Francisco Rivas started their practice in 2016, having met while working for the Paraguayan practice Gabinete de Arquitectura. Their work marks a direct connection to Benítez and Cabral, the clear resonance in their approach an essay in the intangible, unquantifiable values of what is gained in exchange. This is legible not merely in their use of brick but also their mode of manipulation, the sense of an ancient and earthy knowledge embodied in every mortared join. Despite the salience of the clay vein running between the Paraguayans and the young practice, Messina Rivas maintain that their choice of materials remains largely incidental, determined by what is available nearby. Designing first a form, three empty lines intersecting a landscape, they then carefully wield what matter already exists there to suit. The Capela Ingá-Mirim, for example, completed in 2018, was built of bricks from a house on site, in too poor a shape to rescue, along with rocks that had been thrown into the forest. Overlapping only at their ends and bound by bulging clods of mortar, the bricks that form the long arms of the chapel sing of the act of their own construction, of the hands that placed them there. This is an architecture of few words, simple gestures evoking a pure poetics as yet uncluttered by grim industrial realities: so far, the practice has yet to break away from dependence on private commissions from friends and family. When they do, let it not hamper their quiet grace.

28 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

28 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Federico Cairoli

The Capela Ingá-Mirin by Messina Rivas, 2018

09 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

09 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Federico Cairoli

16 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

16 capela ingá mirin messina rivas © federico cairoli architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Federico Cairoli

Messina rivas drawing

Messina Rivas drawing

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This case study featured in this piece from the AR October issue on Brazil – click here to purchase your copy today

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