International style in the tropics, Carlos Villanueva Raúl

Carlos Raúl Villanueva (1900-1975) studied at the Paris School of Fine Arts.

When he finished his studies, he opened an office in 1929 in Caracas.

He was one of the founding members of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Venezuela in Caracas, where he began teaching in 1944.


 His architecture combined the ideas of the International Style with South American traditions, and gave great importance to climatic conditions.


His works include the Maracay bullring, Venezuela (1931), the Olympic stadium (1949-1950) and the university city (1944-1970), both in Caracas, Venezuela.

The buildings are made of reinforced concrete and are protected from the sun by vaulted lattices, shutters and bays.

For the chromatic conception of the university campus, Villanueva worked closely with the artists Alexander Calder and Fernand Léger, whom he had met in Paris during his studies.


Calder designed among others some panels that hung free to improve the acoustics of the great hall.


The university stadium consists of a concrete shell elegantly lightened by comb-shaped crossbars.

Together with Ricardo de Sola and Arthur Erickson he built the Venezuela pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada, which was made up of three colored cubes.

In 1970-1972, Villanueva’s last work emerged, the Jesús Soto Museum in Bolívar, Venezuela.

The six blocks of the complex that house the exhibition rooms, the administration and the cafeteria are arranged in a free order around a courtyard and are linked together by flat galleries.

The constructions partly have vertical folding sunshades that allow the play of light and shadow.

Gössel, P. (2007). The A-Z of Modern Architecture (Vol. 1). Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.

Publicado por ilabasmati

Licenciada en Bellas Artes, FilologÍa Hispánica y lIiteratura Inglesa.

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