Vilamajó (Uruguay, second from left) with various members of the Board of Design Consultants for the UN Headquarters Building in 1947, including N. D. Bassov (Soviet Union), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), and G. A. Soilleux (Australia), as part of the Board of Design Consultants for the U.N. Headquarters Building in 1947. Image Courtesy of Courtesy the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Ubranismo Montevideo, via Metropolis Magazine

Vilamajó (Uruguay, second from left) with various members of the Board of Design Consultants for the UN Headquarters Building in 1947, including N. D. Bassov (Soviet Union), Gaston Brunfaut (Belgium), Ernest Cormier (Canada), Le Corbusier (France), Liang Seu-cheng (China), Sven Markelius (Sweden), Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil), Howard Robertson (United Kingdom), and G. A. Soilleux (Australia), as part of the Board of Design Consultants for the U.N. Headquarters Building in 1947. Image Courtesy of Courtesy the Facultad de Arquitectura Diseño y Ubranismo Montevideo, via Metropolis Magazine

Uruguay’s architecture scene has long taken the backseat to those of its more popular neighbours. Brazil, to the north, has a modernist history that rivals (if not shades) that of its European peers; Chile, to the west, boasts an innovative climate for architecture unparalleled in the world today.



With friends like these, it’s perhaps no surprise that Uruguay is a bit overshadowed. But two exhibitions running currently alongside the London Design Festival seek to bring much-deserved attention to the oft-forgotten works of Uruguay’s modernists.

In Uruguay, A Natural Collective, showing at the Designjunction fair from 20-23 September, and Hilos Invisibles (Invisible Threads) at The Aram Gallery from 17 September to 27 October, the country’s artistic and artisanal approach is on display. Among the items on display are a collection of nine limited edition furniture and lighting pieces developed by Matteo Fogale, themselves inspired by sketches by Julio Vilamajó (1894-1948)—one of the Uruguay’s most beloved (yet internationally unknown) architects. Small steps towards uncovering a rich history, but it’s without doubt the start of an exciting rediscovery.

Read the full story at Metropolis Magazine.

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