Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Casa de Vidro in Morumbi, São Paulo was designed by Brazilian modernist architect Lina Bo Bardi in 1950.  Lina Bo Bardi devoted her working life, most of it spent in Brazil, to promoting the social and cultural potential of architecture and design.

Glass House by Lina Bo Bardi Technical Information

Architecture and architectural freedom are above all a social issue that must be seen from inside a political structure, not from outside it

– Lina Bo Bardi

Glass House Photographs

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

Photograph from the 1950s

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

Photograph from the 1950s

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

© Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre

Glass House description

In 1951 Bo Bardi designed the “Casa de Vidro” (“Glass House”) to live with her husband in what was then the remnants of the Mata Atlantica, the original rain forest surrounding São Paulo. Located on a 7,000-square-metre plot of land, it was the first residence in the Morumbi neighborhood. The area is now the wealthy suburb of Morumbi but a more domesticated version of the rain forest has since re-established itself around the house, concealing it from view.

The main part of the house is horizontal between thin reinforced concrete slabs with slender circular columns. The columns are pilotis, which allows the landscape to flow under the building. Inside, the main living area is almost completely open, except for a courtyard that allows the trees in the garden below to grow up into the heart of the house. In the house, there are zones allocated to different functions- a dining room, a library, and a sitting area around the freestanding fireplace- but all are unified by the forest views through the glass. In theory, the glass panels slide open horizontally, but there is no balcony to encourage people to go outside.

The living area is only half of the house. The other half sits on solid ground at the top of the hill, on the north side of the living room. A row of bedrooms faces a narrow courtyard, on the other side of which is the blank wall of the staff wing. Only the kitchen crosses the divide- a territory shared by servants and mistresses, and equipped with a variety of well-designed labor-saving devices.

Mass production, which today should be taken into consideration as a basis for modern architecture, exists in Nature itself and, intuitively, in popular work.

– Lina Bo Bardi

Glass House Floor Plan and Section

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

Floor Plan | © Lina Bo Bardi

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

Sections | © Lina Bo Bardi

Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi

Sections | © Lina Bo Bardi

Glass House Gallery

About Lina Bo Bardi

Lina Bo Bardi was an Italian-born Brazilian Modernist architect, industrial designer, historic preservationist, journalist, and activist whose work defied conventional categorization. She designed daring idiosyncratic structures that merged Modernism with populism.

Bo Bardi is recognized, though somewhat belatedly, as one of the most prolific women architects of the 20th century. In 2012, the centennial of her birth, Bo Bardi’s career was celebrated with the launching of a limited-edition line of her bowl chair, a major traveling retrospective organized by the British Council in London, and the publication of a scholarly monograph that spans her life’s work.

Cite this article: "Glass House / Lina Bo Bardi" in ArchEyes, August 15, 2016, https://archeyes.com/glass-house-lina-bo-bardi/.