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The messianic nature of Architecture practiced in Brazil would be unthinkable without the windows opened by the writers of Argentinian Magical Realism

The mythological origin of Brazilian Brutalism, a topos ouranius inside the History of Architecture, is likely to follow that other text that is “The Mythical Founding of Buenos Aires” by Jorge Luis Borges. The myth, in one of its apocryphal versions, attributes to an Argentinian architect the obsession for single monoliths attempting to span unsurmountable artificial geographies. His name, Amancio Williams; the foundational building, a house over a creek; the year, 1942. But because São Paulo may well be the largest city of the Autonomous territory of the megalopolis of Buenos Aires, we all take this for granted. Magical Realism made all Modern Architecture possible on the south of the Equator. Tupi undertook the task to write another chapter of the myth, something like a small attempt of revolution, or a plot twist inside the myth’s structure. The plot had no creek. The task demanded no bridge and we were not Argentinians officially speaking. But the idea to build a house manifesto (every house is a manifesto) was the only analogy left on the table.

The Producer of this forthcoming feature film briefed us on something classic and modern. These are two synonyms that are at the same time one oxymoron. Classic is modern, and classic is the opposite of modern simoutaneously. Quantum mechanics took control of the narrative that was already in the hand of Kafkaesque writers. The Producer wanted to shoot the movie from the perspective of one Macedonio Fernández, the mythological Master mf Borges, who is the master of all of us. An erratic figure who elusively attempted to translate Buenos Aires into a novel. This is the backbone of the book: The Museum of Eterna’s Novel. The text thus became the plot for the project. For some interpreters, Buenos Aires is and always will be the Borges’ infinite library of Babel, or the ultimate labyrinth of mirrors. That is how Borges perpetuated Macedonio’s work. Tupi had to step into the train while it was running wild. The place for the building of this family house on the countryside of Buenos Aires, this Estancia, happened magically to meet in reality the extension ad infinitum of the avenue Diagonal Norte. Something that even Le Corbusier attempted when visiting the city.

The Producer, by now one of Tupi’s greatest friends, always smiled at us as if he knew it since day one, so that coincidence of Diagonal Norte meeting the far afield plot of land was just a charade he set on us as a test in order to know if we would be able to stand up to the task. We moved on. The extension of the Grid ad infinitum was a secondary step well implicit and inscribed in the script not to be pursued. The “house like a city” dictum became the “house like a manzana” (a city block has this peculiar multilayered nickname in Spanish). Then the filling in the blanks or the filling in the fictional real estate of one own’s design became like a prologue amongst the more than 50 prologues of Macedonio’s novel. Brazilian Architecture yet another prologue. Some fragments of the myth attempted to have a cameo inside the grid. Fragments of Revolutionary French architects (being Buenos Aires the last arrondissement of the Parisian spiral when this meets the infinity of the Babelian project) also sneaked inside the drawing board as if the Brazilian flâneur would take Magical Realism by assault and attempt a coup worthy of Boullée or Ledoux. Patios en-abîme. The house runs away like a magical unicorn.

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