Redeem the Utopias: Marcos Franchini and Nattalia Bom Conselho on 60 Years of Architecture

Marcos Franchini and Nattalia Bom Conselho of Belo Horizonte congratulate Detail on their 60th anniversary. They hope that in the future, sustainable aspects in architecture will rely more on local traditions and materials.

What did the 1960s leave us in terms of architecture?
In Europe, the 1960s were marked by the inauguration of Le Corbusier's Couvent Sainte-Marie de la Tourette, a building emblematic for its brut expression. It was also a moment when the inventive work of Pier Luigi Nervi was completed, as well as that of Buckminster Fuller, showing the possibility of exploring the tectonic matrix in buildings from a beautiful analogy with nature itself.
A certain spirit of change led to project-manifestos by groups around the planet, notably marked by the founding of the Metabolist movement in Japan, Archigram and Cedric Price’s essays in England as well as The Function of the Oblique by Claude Parent and Paul Virilio.
In Brazil, the year 1960 was marked by the inauguration of the capital Brasília (a dream of the modern city built in the middle of the Cerrado - savannah - with all its contradictions, utopias and beauty), also FAUUSP, designed by Vilanova Artigas, a building that still fosters lessons on delicacy and weight, voids and matter ... paradoxes that coexist and teach.
In addition, we must mention the work of Lina Bo Bardi in Salvador, which attracts us for its inventiveness and, above all, for the valorization of the local culture and origins of the country.
This diversity from various corners of the world draws our attention to the particular moment that was the 1960s.

When did you first come across DETAIL?
Strolling through the corridors of the university library or snooping around magazines and books in the offices where we did internships allowed us to get to know foreign magazines and we highlight Detail. Often, we spent hours studying to understand more about the construction itself and the interrelationship between the diverse components that make up a constructed work. We believe that these readings were both an education complementary to the classrooms and a foundation of knowledge.

Where do you think architecture will stand in 60 years’ time?
We believe in and are searching for a kind relationship with our planet and are convinced that this must be the way to think about the future of our cities and, therefore, architecture.

At the moment, we live in a scenario in which there is a lot of waste, exploitation of natural resources, demolition of buildings that no longer make sense, abandoned spaces and cities, while on the other hand we are experiencing housing shortages, poverty and social segregation. Redeeming the utopias of the 60s is so urgent! Re-signifying and updating the way we build must be the mantra. We believe that instead of following a certain trend, sustainability should distance itself from an anthropocentric vision and aim at resurrecting local materials, as well as construction traditions, in the search for renewable sources and materials that are in tune with the context in which they will be employed.

Marcos Franchini is a Brazilian architect from Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, the city where he currently lives and works. He has lived in Recife, Brasília and Paris. He graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in 2010. He holds a master's degree in Metallic Construction Sciences from UFOP (2017) and has been a teacher since 2018. He has had his own office since 2012. In conjunction, he has been giving the workshop for sketches 'Oficina de Croquis' since 2006. 

Nattalia Bom Conselho is a Brazilian architect from Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, the city where she currently lives and works. She has also lived in Turin. She graduated in Architecture and Urbanism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in 2014. 
She is a specialist in Cultural Heritage (CECI/UFPE 2016). She has had her own office since 2014, where she works with architecture and cultural heritage in all their aspects and ranges.

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