Cristobal Palma’s photograph shows a transformed former metal barrel factory in São Paulo that Lina Bo Bardi—a visionary architect, urbanist, designer, and political activist who settled in Brazil in 1946—rehabilitated into a collection of community-centered spaces in the 1970s and ’80s. Today known as the SESC Pompéia, the complex features classrooms and reading areas, restaurants and bars, a theater, and a sports block. “Cave mouths” have been inserted into walls as windows while eight pathways bridge various facilities. The project was the culmination of Bo Bardi’s embrace of a principle she termed “the civilization of survival,” in which she created non-hierarchical, democratic civic spaces in previously inhospitable urban contexts.
Gallery label from 2021