Bijoy Jain: “Architecture Is Not About an Image, It Is About Sensibility”

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MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings Bijoy Jain, the founder of Indian practice Studio Mumbai, has long been well-known for his earth-bound material sensibilities, and an approach to architecture that bridges the gap between Modernism and vernacular construction. The recent opening of the third annual MPavilion in Melbourne, this year designed by Jain, offered an opportunity to present this architectural approach on a global stage. In this interview as part of his “City of Ideas” series, Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Bijoy Jain about his design for the MPavilion and his architecture of “gravity, equilibrium, light, air and water.”

Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Copper House II, Chondi, Maharashtra, India (2012). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Carrimjee House, Kankeshwar, Alibuag, Maharashtra, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, India (2005). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai

561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai 561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Vladimir Belogolovsky: Let’s start with your MPavilion design here in Melbourne. You said about this project, "I want it to be a symbol of the elemental nature of communal structures. I
Ganga Maki Textile Studio, Bhogpur Village, Dehradun, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings
Palmyra House, Nandgaon, Maharashtra, India (2007). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
MPavilion, Melbourne, Australia (2016). Image © John Gollings
Ganga Maki Textile Studio, Bhogpur Village, Dehradun, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
561/63 Saat Rasta, Byculla West, Mumbai, India (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Ahmedabad Residence, Ahmedabad, India (2014). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Tara House, Kashid, Maharashtra, India (2005). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Bridge by the Canal, Triennale Brugge (2015). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
Copper House II, Chondi, Maharashtra, India (2012). Image Courtesy of Studio Mumbai
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Paulo Mendes da Rocha: “Architecture Does Not Desire to Be Functional; It Wants to Be Opportune”

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Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon Paulo Mendes da Rocha is one of Brazil's most celebrated architects. And, in spite of the fact that very little of his work can be found outside São Paulo, his “Paulista Brutalism” is revered worldwide, earning him the Pritzker Prize in 2006 and, just last week, the Royal Institute of British Architects' Gold Medal. In light of the RIBA Gold Medal news, as part of his “City of Ideas” column, Vladimir Belogolovsky here shares an interview conducted with Mendes da Rocha in 2014. The interview was conducted in Mendes da Rocha's office in São Paulo with the help of Brazilian architect Wilson Barbosa Neto acting as translator, and was originally published in Belogolovsky's book, “Conversations with Architects in the Age of Celebrity.” Vladimir Belogolovsky: In your short text "The Americas, Architecture and Nature," you say
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Capela de São Pedro, 1999. Image © Cristiano Mascaro
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Museu Brasileiro de Escultura (MuBE), 1995. Image © Nelson Kon
Paulistano Athletic Club, 1957. Image Courtesy of Paulo Mendes da Rocha
Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 1998. Image © Nelson Kon
© Andrea Altemulher
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