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athos bulcão - gold medalist of brazilian architecture!

Mon, Aug 08, 2016

we don’t know about you guys, but is it us or is there a strong tide of universal insurgency billowing all about us? we don’t think it’s just our wishful thinking. but i'd best leave it at that!

behind every tile (and country) there is a history. as the world is watching the 2016 olympics in rio and celebrating the triumphs and struggles of the athletes we thought it would be an awesome opportunity for us all to learn a little more about brasil and take a tile tour of a little revolution that took place in brazil just after the mid 50′s. at that time a very charismatic (aren’t they all) leader takes over the brazilian presidency and promises to modernize brazil’s economy. now, imagine that he actually sets about to memorialize his revolution with a new country capital lead by the collective artistic endeavors of lucio costas, le corbusier and oscar niemeyer and you’ve got – brasilia.

the story of the creation and construction of brazil’s modern capital city is filled with intrigue, conspiracy and scandal. but for our purposes the story is about an urban landscape of modernist structures emphasized by the prolific graphic visions of artist and master tile designer- athos bulcão.

it all sounds more like an ayn rand novel than a true story. and at the center of this little tidbit of urban renewal is mr. bulcão, who was a painter and sculptor employed by neimeyer to assist in the decorative aspects of the modernist construction. later known as the artist of brasilia, bulcão’s prolific works touch nearly every part of brazil’s capital city.

photos | geo rochha, fund athos, equador, edgard cesar

bulcao is obviously considered a national treasure in brazil, but outside his homeland he is barely recognized. does anyone besides us wonder why so few buildings in america are clad with decorative tiles? we think it might be time for a tile revolution…


to join the tile revolution follow us on instagram and tag your tile finds from around the world with #tiletheworld! 

brasilia city planning and architecture history - athos bulcão and oscar niemeyer

photos | equadorstewart cohen, marcel gautherot 

do above photos are the you love athos bulcão's tile? you might love our new cement tile designed by coletivo muda. they are a group of street artists from rio, brasil. 




if there was a tile category in the olympics they would certainly be on par with rafaela silva. congrats to her for winning brazil's first gold medal in the the 2016 games! 

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