About Affonso Eduardo Reidy
Affonso Eduardo Reidy studied architecture at the Fine Arts National School of Rio de Janeiro, where he graduated in 1930 when he was director L.Costa. Before he has finished his studies, In 1929 he began to work with A. Agache in the General Urban Plan of the Brazilian capital , what allowed him to enter the Technical Services of the City Hall in which he worked almost during his entire life as a professional writer. A. Reidy is considered, together with A.C. Lima and B. Max one of the forerunner of the new Brazilian architecture and the creator of a new style inspired by the European avant-gardism and he foresaw the renovation that Le Corbusier inspires and the true introduction in modern architecture made by L. Costa.
The first works he was asked for were “Goodwill Shelter” (1931) and the drafts of the Mayor Office headquarters in Rio the Janeiro and the Ministry of Public Health and Education (1932-1935). Later on, he participated in the team responsible for the construction of the Ministry of Public Health and Education (1936-1943) headed by Lucio Costa and made up by: Oscar Niemeyer, Vasconcellos and himself.
For the construction of this building Le Corbusier was consulted , since he was the real creator of the building. Mosaics were made by Candido Portinari and gardens were the work of Burle Max. This construction was a revolution in the Brazilian architecture, since it is one of the distinctive feature of master Le Corbusier, its first floor was on piles, it had a rigid volume and had a continued and diaphanous facade in its biggest sides and was blind in the smallest ones.
The “brise-soleil”, a facade in the form of huge Venetian blinds of open book which serve to adapt oneself to the tropical climax. Reidy is in the middle of the two tendencies that emerged after the construction of this building: the functionalism, created by Le Corbusier and another one more expressive and organic which was represented by O. Niemeyer. In his works he takes the poorest parts of the Le Corbusier intelligently adapting them to the landscape and the Brazilian tradition using lattice and ceramic which defines the tropical sense of his architecture.
Thus creating his own architectonic language which characterizes his work and that has influenced in a whole generation Brazilian architects. One of his most important work is the residential compound of Pedregulhos (1947), destined to public officials of low incomes and which has schools, nursery, markets and laundry services. The proposal is made on the basis of some psychological studies which establish the costume’s profile.
The compound infrastructure is not a common one in the residential initiatives of this type and take the proposal made by Le Corbusier to Argelia adapting it to Rio de Janeiro. The Rio de Janeiro Modern Art Museum (1954-1958) is another myth in his professional career and in the Brazilian architecture. In this work, Reidy combines the techniques, the fine arts and the functionality. This is evidently seen in the exhibition room where previously made-taut tiles are placed on a succession of trapezoidal porch, with which he managed to have a free floor that has a inner space compatible with the flexibility that the exhibition room of a museum demands and it has an external appearance which has a great plasticity produced by the repetition of the structure and by its original form. Affonso Eduardo Reidy died in Rio de Janeiro in 1964.