Joao Filgueiras Lima (June 19, 1931 - May 21, 2014) was an iconic Brazilian architect, also known as Lele. He was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1932 and later settled in Salvador. His projects transformed the look of industrial large-scale works and were always concerned with the issue of the human scale. The architect leaves us a great legacy of works throughout Brazil. During the construction of Brasilia in the late 1950s and at the beginning of the 1960s, Lele developed several projects alongside Oscar Niemeyer. In the 1970s, Lele began to pay more attention to the constructive efficiency of his projects, looking for fast and sustainable constructions. Lele experimented with self-supporting elements of reinforced concrete systems in several Brazilian cities.
Few Brazilian architects have so many works that come from his drawing board like Joao Filgueiras Lima, Lele. The interest in an industrialized architecture arises from this moment, when Lele is forced to build an innumerable number of camps and wooden sheds. Something that, without proper rationalization, would take forever to get ready. From the outset, however, the idea of making architecture, even in its provisional nature, accompanied the architect's craft. Even these transient wooden constructions gained special attention, proving to be a first field of experimentation.
Working with anthropologist and educator Darcy Ribeiro at the newly-born University of Brasilia, Lele travels through eastern Europe to investigate the technology of rationalizing the use of reinforced concrete used by countries such as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, then dominated by the socialist regime. Unlike the United States, whose common theme was the use of steel, the use of concrete in these countries, in favor of a policy of mass construction and recovery of the Second War, brought them closer to our reality, according to Lele, while a country that did not dominate the metallic construction.
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