Architecture has defined landscapes, given cities their identities and changed the way we live. With this weighty importance behind it, the 10th edition of the Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo returns, and simply cannot be contained to Ibirapuera Park's Oca building like in years past.
The Ground Zero for this edition of the Bienal is the Centro Cultural São Paulo, with numerous other locations throughout the city hosting exhibitions and events, including MASP, Museu da Casa Brasileira, SESC Pompeia and Casa de Vidro.
The theme – 'Cidade: modos de fazer, modos de usar, modos de agir' ('City: ways of doing, ways of using, ways of acting') – focuses on the collective responsibility of urban living and issues such as the use of public space, infrastructure and mobility, the last of which the Bienal is really taking to heart, insisting that all the host locations are accessible by public transportation. Read on for our picks for the best of the Bienal:
São Paulo has more than its fair share of traffic and this segment of the event deals with the detrimental impact of the automobile on city living and how it has forged suburban landscapes. Cássio Vasconcelos's photo series Manhã de Carnaval, Tecidos Urbanos, Grande São Paulo, Pátios e Estacionamentos deals with the vast patches of land taken over by parking (and the ever-present problem of finding space for it in SP), while Daniela Thomas's Odisséia displays the differences between daytime gridlock and leisure activity on the Minhocão (aka Via Elevado Presidente Costa e Silva), the viaduct that runs from Barra Funda to Centro. Carrópolis is at Centro Cultural São Paulo, Rua Vergueiro 1000, Aclimação (3397 4002/centrocultural.sp.gov.br).
This series of politically-charged photo exhibitions captures waves of protest from São Paulo's original Movimento Passe Livre in 2005 and the historic crowds that took to the street again in June 2013, as well as the Occupy Wall Street protests from New York, in 2007. The works intend to foster discussion about new possibilities for social change in shared public spaces. Espaço Público e Ativismo is at Centro Cultural São Paulo, Rua Vergueiro 1000, Aclimação (3397 4002/centrocultural.sp.gov.br).
The 1951 Casa de Vidro (‘Glass House’) is the former home of Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) – one of São Paulo's defining Modernist architects – and is widely regarded as the seminal Bo Bardi creation. The stunning house, which only opens to the public for special exhibitions and prearranged private tours, will be open during the X Bienal de Arquitetura to present Bo Bardi's 1981 'Jardim Tropical' (tropical garden) – a proposal for the creation of an immense park in the downtown valley, Vale do Anhangabaú. The project never came to fruition though the valley has since seen other creative projects temporarily transform the space, as visitors to the 2013 culture fest, the Virada Cultural, may have seen. Anhangabaú: Jardim Tropical runs from 12 October to 24 November at the Casa de Vidro, Rua General Almério de Moura 200, Morumbi (3744 9902/institutobardi.com.br).
See the full programme at www.xbienaldearquitetura.org.br.