Achilina di Enrico Bo, known as Lina Bo, is one of the most important figures in the Latin American architecture. Born on December 5, 1914, in Prati di Castello, Rome from a Genoese family with few financial resources, Lina shows a difficult and lonely child with a tumultuous school path that thought limit the role of women in society. Her family was composed of mother Giovanna Adriana Grazia and father Enrico Bo, and who completed with younger sister Graziela.
After attending the Liceo Artistico in Rome, Lina graduated as an architect with the work graduation course “Assistance Center for Maternity and Childhood.” Concerned about the political instability of Rome and the rise of Fascism, she moves to Milan in 1940, where the Bo e Pagani studio with the architect Carlo Pagani; also collaborates with Gio Ponti in the magazine “Lo Stile – nella casa e nell’arr tenancy” and works in Grazia, Belleza, Vetrina and L’illustrazionoe Italiana magazines.
Moves to Rome with Pietro Maria Bardi in 1946 where he founds the magazine “A – Cultura della Vita ”with Bruno Zevi. After their marriage to Pietro, the couple visits Rio de Janeiro, where he meets the vanguard of the arts in Brazil. The following year, Pietro is invited by journalist, businessman, and politician Assis Chateaubriand to found and run a museum of modern art. Lina became Brazilian in 1951 and in the same year completes its first architectural project: the Glass House, which will be an important meeting point for national culture.
Lina goes to Salvador in 1958 to give lectures at the Escola de Belas Artes University of Bahia, and is invited to direct the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia (MAM-BA) where she designs the restoration of Solar do Unhão and its adaptation to the headquarters of the museum. The experience of the Northeast was fundamental for the architect development which, surrounded by the diversity and vitality of the region amid industrialization.
Returning to São Paulo in 1966, she resumed the project of the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art Paulo (MASP) on Avenida Paulista, which after its inauguration in 1968 will become an of the most iconic landmarks of Brazilian architecture. During her last ten years of life, after the inauguration of SESC Pompeia in 1982, Lina opened a new phase in her career. Supported by its young people collaborators, Marcelo Ferraz, André Vainer and Marcelo Suzuki, produced projects that pointed to a renewal of Brazilian architecture, so somewhat accommodated by the lack of cultural oxygen from the dictatorship years.
After her death in 1992, the recognition of those years was enhanced by the Bardi Institute, thanks to its exhibitions, publications, and media presence. Lina has become an international reference. The 21st century, more specifically the post-crisis 2008 saw several of its themes and positions become the subject of the debate on culture, environment, historical heritage and material production of architecture and objects.