Marta Moreira presentation at EAEU UTDT

Martha Moreira
Presentation Conference: The works of others
Torcuato Di Tella University. School of Architecture and Urban Studies.
Center for Contemporary Architecture Studies.
By Ignacio Montaldo.


This afternoon, I have the honor to present  an architect whom we deeply admire and respect. Marta Moreira is an architect from São Paulo, graduated from FAUSP in 1987. Her extensive production has been recognized through multiple national and international awards, among which projects for institutional buildings, social equipment and urban infrastructure stand out, the result of a work that proposes an approach that seeks to enhance the public dimension intrinsic to architecture and urban planning, with the aim of contributing to the construction of urbanity in the cities where it operates.
Approaching the work of Marta Moreira implies understanding a task, a task, that moves seamlessly between the academic and professional spheres.
This way of thinking and working entails a reflective and critical stance in the practice of architecture, participating in the professional, cultural and academic fields: designing buildings, organizing seminars, developing urban plans, designing furniture, coordinating an architecture school, building garages subways or toll booths, designing cultural events and exhibitions; directing works and constructions. Marta works in these worlds from her office, MMBB arquitectos, founded in 1991, and which she directs together with her founding partners, Fernando de Mello Franco, Milton Braga, and currently together with María João Figueiredo. At the same time, she develops her academic activity, at the Escola da Cidade in Sao Paulo, since 2002 as a project teacher and since 2008 as a member of the Executive and Coordinating Board.
At first glance, we can register Marta’s work, in a contemporary context, but in continuity with what historiography called “the Paulista School”, a term with which a large part of the modern production of architecture designed and built in Saint Paul. This is how we can understand the work of Marta and the MMBB office as a project that does not start from the tabula rasa, but is produced in continuity with the architects who preceded them (the work of others) in a lineage that transits the work of architects such as Vilanova Artigas, Rino Levi, Oswaldo Bratke, Lina Bo Bardi, and particularly the work of the architect Paulo Mendes Da Rocha with whom they have collaborated intensively and on multiple occasions between 1995 and 2021, the date of his death. But we can also register Marta’s work within the framework of a contemporary conversation with the architects of her own generation, and from her own city, with whom they maintain a series of relationships and links that feed back both from the works themselves and from the work. in the academic field, with architects such as Ángelo Bucci, Álvaro Puntoni, José Paulo Gouvêa, Vinicius Andrade, Marcelo Morettin, Francisco Fanucci, Marcelo Ferraz, among others.
This is how we can find, in this collective conversation, a way of approaching the project where common aspects are highlighted in relation to the way in which they face the relationship with the territory and the landscape, with the construction techniques and with an idea of the city. . The continuity of the modern form, which from the elementality of its geometry and abstraction is related to the territory and the landscape, acting in the field of nature as a reference (Piñón), taking it to the limit and emphasizing construction techniques and particularly in the design of structures, in working with both reinforced concrete and steel, manipulating both their support capacity and their capacity for formal and organizational expression of the projects.
And finally, perhaps as a counterpoint, to complicate the idea that Europeans obey history and South Americans geography (Méndes Da Rocha), we can highlight in Marta’s work, a deep vocation to build the city, transforming it without prejudice, based on an idea of the city that includes others, which is sustained from the public, understanding buildings as public infrastructures, organized to activate urban life, coexistence, the link with others and with what is different, from spaces that redefine and generate new contracts between interior and exterior, between inside and outside, between the public and the private. Probably the radical nature of the proposed structures, the technical rigor and the flexibility of the spaces, generate public infrastructures that give room and full freedom to life itself.