Before starting her own firm in Milan, she had worked with Gio Ponti, who later remarked that she was “earning a place in modern architecture.” Bo Bardi and her husband, Italian art dealer and curator Pietro Maria Bardi, were members of the Communist party and found a safe haven in Brazil, which Bo Bardi called “an unimaginable country, where everything was possible.” The couple was integral in the establishment of the São Paolo Museum of Art (1968), which Bo Bardi designed with four bright-red exterior columns supporting the concrete-and-glass building suspended aboveground. Bo Bardi, who died in 1992, also designed the couple’s residence, a modern villa above São Paulo called the Glass House, now part of the Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi Institute. Though still somewhat overlooked by the modern design cognoscenti, Bo Bardi is revered by many modernists for both her architecture and bold furniture designs.
To see images of her work, please visit the slideshow.
Erika Heet has been working in publishing for more than 20 years, including years spent as a senior editor at Architectural Digest and Robb Report. She has written for Architectural Digest, Robb Report, Interiors, Bon Appétit, Sierra Magazine, and The Berkeley Fiction Review. She recently wrote the foreword to New Tropical Classics: Hawaiian Homes by Shay Zak. She lives in a Topanga cabin with her artist husband and two children.