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We are way beyond the old idea of highlighting the new up against the old; any new idea now is always already old

Once upon a time back in the 1980s, when the Berlin wall looked like it wasn’t going to last for centuries anymore, a Brazilian architect by the name of Paulo Mendes da Rocha designed a building to house only objects that were, each in its own way, the outcome of all energy possible to deliver the best object of design (objects of desire!). He was then faced with the problem to design a house for perfect things. (Did he have to design a perfect house?) And so, he did it. The building merged its perfection to that of the brand that made it possible – the name of the brand: FORMA, became the name of the building that then became the place-name of that specific topos in the Paulista capital. Who would name a perfect building FORMA (the Portuguese for "FORM"), who? Ah, architects! They are capable of such beauties, aren't they? The Forma Building, as it became colloquially known around here, arouse perfectly. It is an essay, better to say, an ode to Architecture. A program-less building that was built only to stand for itself. An egocentric building (all made under the name of Form and the excuse they would sell designed furniture there).

Once upon a time Brazilian Democracy appeared to attempt to take center stage, that was a time of transitions, 1984 kind of thing, and Paulo Mendes da Rocha suddenly made an "U" turn on its béton brut tectonics into articulated metal and concrete structure that was even more radically allegorical than the dream of building bridges everywhere possible. Spanning the infinity. His tectonics changed, Brazilian tectonics changed, and the world changed. Metaphorical thinking was truly in charge. Things literally started to fly. Paulo Mendes da Rocha took the Niemeyer chair in Brazilian magic and flying sources engineering. He went all the way through the ionosphere. Once upon a time, the building went slowly into decay (while its overall structure and architecture continued to weather quite well into the 21st century). Forma, the brand, left the spaceship and the perfect object of desire was to be discovered empty, silent and lit only by natural light during the day, and city lights during the night; that is to say: the Forma building met wholly with itself. It became finally what it was designed for in the first place: pure nothing… pure architecture. To enter that building with the lonely plaque ‘for rent, for sale’ was a sublime adventure. A lesson on how to really be an architect. But for that, one had to drop outside real life. Uniflex rented the place-name and started dreaming of a way to re-form the Form (as if that were possible to be done).

Once upon a time, in one’s lifetime, comes a moment when one has to do the undoable: turn the new that became old into another new. Ridiculous, isn’t it? Tupi accepted the challenge to re-write a place-name like that into a place-name like this: RE-FORMA. Apocalyptic nightmares stepped onto stage. Harsh criticism was the least expected. Not to call the old Master at his office to ask for a blessing help was something really out of question if one were to really approach the task without pétites politiques. Political grounds were shaking in the Country, like a first real obstacle to our young democracy, so to speak. The Architectural ground also under threat of fake-news on the horizon. It seemed as if the New were arriving at last. But no… Red was still an option to an annotated reading of a canonical text… Grids were still an apparatus to measure and to represent realities in perspective… the search for the real Structural elements to be shown naked was still the best way to retrofit a building ornamentation asset… and finally, once upon a time again and again, minimalism, the ultimate tool Art history offered architecture to unfold objects, thought to be absolute.

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