TACOA (Rodrigo Cerviño + Fernando Falcón)
Passed on from generation to generation, the Paulista School tradition of building with concrete maintains a clear presence in the work of Brazilian architects Fernando Falcón and Rodrigo Cerviño (TACOA). From the first conversation about their proposal for LIGA, the young firm from Sao Paulo set out their premises: as a starting point, any work of architecture (or its exhibition) should serve as a pretext for interacting directly with the city; that is, all architectural actions are urban actions. And the project had to be constructed—naturally—in reinforced concrete. In an age when the significance of architecture is measured by its potential for technological innovation and cultural rupture, the resolve with which TACOA asserted its connection to a local tradition is quite remarkable.
When Vilanova Artigas, the forerunner to the Paulista School, once expressed the differences between his design method and that of Oscar Niemeyer, he put it like this: “Oscar and I have the same concerns and face the same problems, but while he always seeks to resolve the contradictions in a harmonious synthesis, I clearly express them.”1 This is precisely what the strange object created by TACOA for the streets of Mexico City does in such a striking manner: to embody the frictions of urban life. Rodrigo Cerviño and Fernando Falcón replace the cracked and worn-out planters of this busy corner of Insurgentes Avenue with another, equally imperfect object: a sloping platform that is half bench, half planter, and which projects wildly from the urban crust like a tectonic plate that has been dislodged by extreme pressure.
1Cited in Bruand Yve, “Arquitetura contemporánea no Brasil” in Vilanova Artigas y la dialéctica de los esfuerzos / Vilanova Artigas and the dialectics of stress, Guilherme Wisnik, 2G No.54, João Vilanova Artigas, p.18