ELENA DAMIANI

 

 

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The project takes the brise-soleil –a structural element characteristic of modernist architecture in Latin America and the British colonies of West Africa- to address the integration of vernacular objects into modernist practices as a response to the climatic challenges encountered by architects working in tropic regions. In doing so, the project revises the dynamic expansion of architectural vocabulary and awareness of location, as well as the environmental design considerations of the early modernist project in Latin America, particularly in Brazil. The work reflects upon the fate of utopian ideals over time in Latin America’s modernist project, in the same way the brise-soleil became an obsolete structure as new and increasingly sophisticated technologies for controlling interior conditions in tropical climate were established.



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Tropical Shading Devices. Installation view. ArtRio Solo Project 2014


The series of five collages illustrate architectural structures acting as 'quebra-soles' or sun breakers. In these, overhangs interfere with natural light, operating as filters or barriers that protect a surface from the sun. The series aims to illustrate the incorporation of vernacular shading systems by several of the most representative modernist architects, suggesting the concerns over climate and functionality of modernist architectural project of the time.



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Quebra sol 1. Collage. 2014

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Quebra sol 2. Collage. 2014

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Quebra sol 3. Collage. 2014

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Quebra sol 4. Collage. 2014

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Quebra sol 5. Collage. 2014


The Brises-soleil protruding structures is reminiscent of the sun-shading hangovers. The sculpture appear as detached parts of a façade skeleton, resting tranquil on the floor of an indoor space as a representation and remnant of the Latin American modernist project that disseminated them during the Twentieth Century. In doing so, the travertine piece refers to the utopian nature of the modernist movement and the contemporary revision of its architectural language.

 

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Brise-soleil N1. Hand carved and polished travertine. 2014