Homing in on top architect

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 1998, 12:00am

A 10-day retrospective exhibition of the works of modernist Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi also showcases designs in fashion, jewellery, furniture and drawings.

Organised by the Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the free exhibition is being held at Pao Galleries in the arts centre until July 14.

Bardi was one of the most outstanding architects of the '50s but her talent went largely unrecognised before her death in 1992.

Her best known works are the Sao Paulo Art Museum and the SESC Pompeia Complex. The museum on Sao Paulo's main boulevard is an enormous concrete building suspended at each end by double piers.

The SESC Pompeia Complex, also in Sao Paulo, is a leisure centre converted from an abandoned factory.

It features an 'urban beach' which includes a timber boardwalk where people can relax and sunbathe.

Professor Eric Lye Kum-chen, architecture chair professor at HKU, said Bardi had rescued Brazil's architectural traditions.

'Her works are hi-tech, sophisticated, professional and extreme in style,' he said.

'The contrast is a rare phenomenon in architecture.' Professor Lye said it was important for young people in Hong Kong to learn about Bardi's work.

Her former partner and curator of the exhibition, Marcelo Ferraz, said Bardi's foreign vision - she originated from Italy - had uplifted Brazil's cultural environment.

'She also did a lot of low- cost housing for the poor, which showed her humanistic, versatile nature,' he said.

The exhibition has seven themes: Objects and their uses; the house; methods of exhibiting; graphic communications; scenic space; space and sociability; and renewal and restoration.