Paulo Mendes da Rocha (born the 25th of October 1928 in Vitória) is a Brazilian architect, honoured with the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2000) and the Pritzker Prize (2006). Paulo attended the Mackenzie College Universidade Presbiteriana of architecture, and graduated in 1954.
He almost worked exclusively in Brazil, Mendes da Rocha contributes to the construction of edifices since 1957, a lot of them are made in concrete, a method that some call ‘Brazilian brutalism’, surely a way of constructing that is rapid and cheap. He has participated in the construction many noteworthy cultural buildings in São Paulo, notably the Gymnasium of the Paulista Athletic club (1958) and he has been given a lot of credit for being the motor of the city’s development and revitalisation.
Chased by the military regime of 1969, his contributions to Brazil did not cease as seen through his house at Osaka’s Universal Exposition (1970)
Mendes da Rocha has been a professor at the College of Architecture at the University of São Paulo, and known under the name of FAU-USP until 1998. His work is influenced by the Brazilian architect Vilanova Artigas, from the Brazilian paulist school. In the years of 1980-1990, he enriched his artwork of buildings such as the Saint Pierre chapel (1987), the Brazilian Museum of sculpture (1986) or also the Square of the Patriarch in São Paulo (2002). Often qualified as a brutal architect for his radical use of raw materials he is also very well known for his Paulista armchair found in numerous materials.