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Short-term architecture, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Gru.a

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

Akin to installation art, Gru.a’s ‘short-term architectures’ integrate research and practice, finding transversal linkages between the two; lines of influence that permeate their ethos to make sturdy roots in the contexts of their delicate interventions. ‘We have a particular interest in tectonic models of construction’, they explain, ‘that is, they operate by a logic of mounting and fitting.’ They find the lightness of this mechanism pertinent to the climate, with parallels in constructive cultures tracing all along the equatorial line. One example is found running between DAT, a research project undertaken with fellow Rio de Janeiro group OCO Projetos, and a 2018 installation A praia e o Tempo (the beach and the weather). DAT constituted Gru.a’s contribution to the Brazilian pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale, examining operations of cutting, filling and boring (desmontes, aterros e túneis) in Rio’s urban fabric; ruptures performed by the imposition of a Portuguese city structure on a tropical landscape. A Praia e o Tempo references one example of such filling, specifically the incalculable land reclamation project that contributed to the beach at Copacabana. The delicacy of their interventions is also responsive to the political moment. As opportunities for larger projects dwindle, lightness can be a means of survival. At the same time, Gru.a sees increased recognition of alternative modes of practice, finding power in the interdisciplinary.

A praia e o tempo abertas elisamendes elisa mendes gru.a rio de janeiro architectural review 1465 brazil

A praia e o tempo abertas elisamendes elisa mendes gru.a rio de janeiro architectural review 1465 brazil

Source: Elisa Mendes

Gru.a’s A praia e o tempo on Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro

Gru.a a praia e o tempo pedro varella rio de janeiro architectural review 1465 brazil

Gru.a a praia e o tempo pedro varella rio de janeiro architectural review 1465 brazil

Source: Pedro Varella

A praia e o tempo under construction

Gru.a drawing

Gru.a drawing

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Gru.a de onde não se vê quando se está lauro rocha niemeyer niterói museum rio de janeiro architectural review brazil 1465

Gru.a de onde não se vê quando se está lauro rocha niemeyer niterói museum rio de janeiro architectural review brazil 1465

Source: Lauro Rocha

Gru.a reformulates the work of the architects who have come before, for example veiling the famous form of Niemeyer’s Niterói museum in operation as a platform in De onde não se vê quando se está

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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