Burle Marx Redux — WIP

Regarded with presentist eyes, Roberto Burle Marx’s exuberant rooftop garden graphics can be read as part of our post-digital milieu. Thick Photoshop-esque brush-strokes blur boundaries between  figure / ground, path / niche, plant / form. Can this plastic figural ground graphic set up new conditions for architecture?

What follows is an exploration for a small pavilion of public infrastructure — a porous poche of sorts, where figure-ground relationship can be blurred depending on whether the box is open or closed.

Red T = washbasin + outdoor shower
Red circle =  public lounge
Red square = barbeque plinth + seating

Blue box = night-light
Blue curved planes = up/down sliding door panels

Image credit: Roberto Burle Marx, design for the minister’s rooftop garden, Ministry of Education and Health, Rio de Janeiro, 1938. Gouache on paper. Image has been cropped.

(To be continued)

See @worksinprogress_ng for FULL HOUSE!, a sophomore studio I am teaching at Rice Architecture this Fall 2020, where we have been exploring Roberto Burle Marx’s landscapes among a range of architectural and urban design projects across Latin America.