Confirmed in UIA 2020 RIO, Elizabeth de Portzamparc believes in the architecture that “shelters life and diversity”

Musée de la Romanité de Nîmes (France)
©Sergio Grazia

One of the greatest names of architecture, the Brazilian Elizabeth de Portzamparc is a member of the Honor Committee and a confirmed speaker in UIA 2020 RIO, the 27th World Congress of Architects, happening from the 19th to the 23rd of July of next year.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Elizabeth was 17 years old when she moved to France, where she has started her internationally acclaimed career. In her work, she develops projects that contemplate the social, urban and ecological scope, valuing the economy of forms and materials.

The architect has been rewarded with prizes such as the Future Heritage Award, in 2016, and two medals from the French Senate for her work. She is also a member of the Scientific Council of the Atelier International du Grand Paris and belives that the main function of architecture should always be to “shelter life and diversity”.

UIA 2020 RIO

Elizabeth celebrates the fact that her hometown was chosen to be the first one to receive the title of World Capital of Architecture from UNESCO and to host the World Congress, with an estimated public of 15 thousand professionals and students from the area, besides other interested groups:

- It is a huge event that brings together people from all over the world to share ideas about the problems that the cities have been facing and what we want for the cities of the future. Rio has extraordinary architectonical references and the title of World Capital of Architecture is really important to bring some attention to the quality of the patrimony, the cultural variety and the relations between the city and the nature.

Her most famous works include the Musée de la Romanité of Nîmes (France), the Hotel Les Arènes (Morocco) and the renovation of Marina da Glória (Rio). In urbanism, she restructured neighbourhoods such as Point de Trivaux, in Meudon-la-Forêt (France), and was responsible for the 145 stations and the urban furniture of the Bourdeaux Tramway (France).

In an interview for the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, Elizabeth de Portzamparc has explained that, in 2030, 70% of world population will be living in the cities, and that this is the moment for architects to act in the social field and help populations that are more fragile.

In addition to the architects, urbanists and set designers that work on her firm, there is also a team of political scientists and sociologists. For her, architecture should go beyond the approach that is purely formal and constructive:

- We can only understand ways of building new spaces when we have many fields of knowledge working to find solutions. To talk about cities is getting increasingly complex, because of the density and of how quick things are getting built. A wide-ranging approach can result on proposals that stand for human, sociological and ecological realities.


Hundreds of architects, urbanists and other interested groups from the civil society have already guaranteed their presences at the event, which will turn Rio into the epicentre of the debate about the future of the cities around the world.

If you have not registered yet, go to the official website and enjoy the discount.

It is the fourth time that the World Congress of Architects, that happens every three years, take place in Latin America, being the first one in Brazil. In 1963, Havana was the host city; in 1969, it was Buenos Aires and, in 1978, Mexico City. To host the event in 2020, Rio de Janeiro has competed against Paris and Melbourne.

With the theme “All the worlds. Just one world. Architecture 21” is promoted by the International Union of Architects (UIA) and is organized by the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB). It will reunite specialists and enthusiasts of fairer and more dynamic cities to talk about solutions between the 19th and the 23rd of July 2020. Before that, on July 17 and 18, Rio will also host the World Forum of Cities UNESCO-UIA, with mayors of previous host cities and political, entrepreneurial, cultural and social leaderships.

Musée de la Romanité in Nîmes (France) / ©Sergio Grazia
Bourdeaux Tramway (France) / ©Nicolas Borel
The Condorcet Library in Aubervilliers (France) - 3D / ©2Portzamparc
The New Emblematic Railway Station of the Greater Paris (France) - 3D / ©2Portzamparc
Urban Tower in Taichung (Taiwan) - 3D / ©2Portzamparc



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