Latin America Reports

Brazil Highlights Historical Architecture Renovations

By Charles Thurston | August 10, 2006

Paint and coatings companies play an important role in restoring Brazil's historical architecture.

Brazil's paint and coatings industry is highlighting the important role it is playing in the renovation of historically important architecture in the country, providing a showcase for sponsors' products, according to Dilson Ferreira, the president of the Brazilian trade association Associacao das Fabricantes de Tintas (Abrafati) in Sao Paulo.

Abrafati recently profiled the work of BASF's Suvinil unit in painting the 1861 Mercado Modelo building in downtown Salvador in conjunction with the city government. Rui Goerck, BASF's vice president for paint and varnishes in South America said, "Monuments like these reinforce our culture and sense of being Brazilian, and the preservation of these buildings is the responsibility of all of us." Suvinil has been involved in the renovation of some 30 buildings in Brazil since 1988 when the company formed a special unit for historical architecture called "Cor, Arquitectura e Memoria," or "Color, Architecture and Memories."

Sherwin-Williams also has been active in helping to restore public architecture, like the Morumbi soccer stadium in Sao Paulo. "We have an ongoing partnership with the stadium and once we saw the need for paint, we offered to help them," said David Ivy, Sherwin-Williams' director of marketing, in Sao Paulo. "Then when the operators of the Moises Lucarelli soccer stadium in Campinas, near our factory, saw what we did at Morumbi, we painted their stadium as well. This is an incredible opportunity. Apart from the preservation of one of the focal points of the city and the support for a sport for which we are globally recognized, we have a chance to contribute to the beauty of the region."

Similarly, Tintas Coral has been active in the renovation of several buildings in Recife, the capital of Pernambuco state, through an alliance with the city government and a local retail business owners' association. Tintas Coral launched its "Pintando o Brasil" or "Painting Brazil" program in 2000, encompassing projects in nine cities and based on public school students' suggestions to select the monuments that were restored. Several museums and other public buildings were painted as part of the program, including the Museu da Casa Brasileira, in Sao Paulo.

Finally, Abrafati recognized the work of Renner Sayerlack in restoring buildings in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, including the 150-year old Sociedade Portuguesa de Beneficiencia hospital. Renner also helped paint several dozen homes in the historic town of Antonio Prado, also in Rio Grande do Sul state, which had been placed on the Patrimonio Historico e Artistico Nacional, Brazil's national registry of significant architectural buildings.

"By participating in initiatives like these, the paint industry not only plays an important social role, but also demonstrates through highly visible action how paint contributes to the beauty, the value and the conservation of architecture," said Abrafati's Ferreira. "Certainly this is an investment which brings many dividends, not only for the companies but also for society as a whole."