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SESC Pompeia

São Paulo, Brazil
1 of 11Pinterest: Michele Caputo

With this steel barrel factory/”culture factory” conversion, Lina Bo Bardi revolutionized São Paulo’s attitude to its obsolete industrial estates.

Between 1977 and 1986, the old brick sheds were transformed into exhibition spaces, a library and a series of workshops. The SESC Pompéia also features a curious and interesting theater (home to many superb concerts), as well as a choperia the serves up a collective lunch alongside inexpensive but equally delicious portions of beer and live Brazilian music.

Bo Bardi also built two new buildings that are connected to the factory by footbridges. These are entirely made from rough concrete—alleviated by amoeba-shaped windows the architect referred to as “Spanish civil war holes”—and contain sports facilities like football fields, a swimming pool and a solarium. Both the “Spanish civil war holes” and the general redesign of the old factory exemplify “muxarabi”, a postmodern remix of colonial-style elements that foregrounds references to Brazilian popular culture.

Rua Clélia, 93