Rizza Conde, architect and urban planner, dies

It is with great grief that we announce the death of the architect, urban planner and artist Rizza Paes Fernandez Conde, on Friday, April 3rd. Rizza was the widow of the architect and former mayor Luiz Paulo Conde, she graduated in Architecture in 1959 from the University of Brazil and built up a public career, which included working with Lúcio Costa in the Pilot Plan of Barra. She was part of the Calouste Gulbenkia Arts Center project and played an important role in the expansion of the public daycare centers in the city. She would complete 85 years old next Thursday, April 9th. 

Rizza Conde graduated in Architecture in 1959, from the former National College (UFRJ), where she met Luiz Paulo Conde. They were married in 1959 and lived 56 years together. They opened together their first architecture office in 1960. Later, Rizza started working for the State of Guanabara Secretariat of Education, where she was part of several projects of schools.  

Throughout her life she devoted herself to plastic arts, mainly to wood and metal engraving. She participated in several art exhibitions in Brazil and abroad received numerous awards, frequently addressing the theme of women and the unconscious.

Rizza is one of the architects honored by the project of the World Heritage Institute (IRPH), which is part of the program Rio World Capital of Architecture.

Coming from a family of Campos dos Goytacases, Rizza had three children Marcelo, Marcos and Maria Eliza, ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and two daughters-in-law.

Her death, due to an obstruction in the aorta, caused a great commotion in the sector. See below testimonials about Rizza:

 “Rizza was the architect of peace, calm and security in the art of designing her architecture and manifesting her work. A careful observer of the city, who contributed without the agitation and without the request for recognition ”, Fábio Bitencourt, Professor of Environmental Comfort, Master in Architecture in Healthcare Environments, President of the Brazilian Association for the Development of the Hospital Building.

“I used to go to her and her husband’s house, the architect Conde, when he was my teacher at FAU, in the early 1970s. She used to promote a study group on Modernism, with several invited students and architects. The meetings took place once a week and it was so lively that they last until late at night, discussing architecture in the, at the time, distant Itanhangá. When she worked in the Sudebar group, together with young architects and Professor Lucio Costa, in the elaboration of Barra’s master plan, Rizza stood out for her manners and ease of expression with master Lucio, and managed to achieve elegant urban solutions that were incorporated into the Plan. I am very sad about the loss of an irreplaceable friend ”, Guilherme Besouro Cintra, Architect M Sc, and urban planner.

“My last meeting with Rizza Conde took place in a recent debate on the 50th anniversary of the Lucio Costa Plan for Barra da Tijuca, promoted by SEAERJ. At the event, the great participation of women in the ‘Professor Lucio’ team was evident. At a time when one is trying to give visibility to female participation in architecture and urbanism, I am thrilled to have seen her last public statement about this experience. May her trajectory serve as inspiration for the new generations of architects and urban planners and that her story is written from this new perspective. We lost a true lady of Rio’s architecture ”, Carlos Eduardo Nunes Ferreira, vice president of ABEA (Brazilian Association for the Teaching of Architecture and Urbanism).

“The National Federation of Architects and Urban Planners mourn the death of a colleague who dedicated herself to the arts and worked on projects related to the Education sector, a segment so deprived in our country”, Eleonora Mascio, Eleonora Mascia – architect and urban planner, president of the FNA.


The great architect and printmaker who charmed Lucio Costa with her talent and professionalism. She certainly also inspired Mayor Conde, who valued architecture and urbanism in his administration at Rio de Janeiro City Hall. I was very saddened by her death ”, Elza Costeira, Ph.D. in Architecture and Urbanism.


Rizza is one of those women who didn’t need to be related to a surname that refers to the architect and former mayor of Rio. She had her own light, intense and deep. The architect and urban planner who merged her competence and talent with art, is someone who was complete, admired and respected, especially for her works valuing women. Her passage through this world, is only a page that turns, leaving a mark of her talent for architecture and of pride for women in Brazil ”. Leila Marques da Silva, architect and urban planner, head of the Projects section at Cefet RJ and board member of CAU-RJ. (Council of Architecture and Urbanism)

“I met Rizza. She was a very nice person, who always seemed to be happy about life”, Mário Ferrer, architect and artist.

“I had the opportunity to meet Rizza Conde as soon as I started working at Luiz Paulo Conde Arquitetura in 1989, where, for a happy opportunity, I relocated to a room where she had her desk. A woman with a calm voice, an architect of great ideas, a talented artist, with an extremely welcoming smile. After a greater approximation, I started to work with the preparation of her woodcuts. We spent a few Saturday afternoons together, in her atelier, cutting the “bege passe-partouts de canson mi-teintese”, talking about art, architecture and life. Sometimes Conde joined the conversation. Afternoons of many learnings and a great longing. An irreparable loss”, Celso Rayol, architect and president of ASBEA-RJ

“Rizza Conde played an important role as an architect in Rio de Janeiro, being part of the team responsible for the elaboration of school projects for the Guanabara government, collaborating with Lucio Costa in the Plan for Barra da Tijuca and in several projects in partnership with his life partner, the architect (and former Mayor of Rio) Luiz Paulo Conde. I didn’t know her personally, but many mutual friends highlight her personality, her erudition and the quality of her architectural and artistic production “,  Nivaldo Vieira de Andrade Júnior, national president of the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB).“The IAB council on behalf of architects from the State of Rio de Janeiro
mourns the loss of Rizza Conde, who so well represented women’s participation in architecture and urbanism, in the construction of the City of Rio de Janeiro. Rizza’s trajectory as an architect and urban planner in the State of Guanabara, as well as other professionals from the City Hall,  until the present, will receive visibility in a project that is been developed by IRPH.  Her artistic expression brought up the theme of women in a recurring way. Rizza also considered the effects of the unconscious through dreams, fantasies and desires in her pictures. A fact that brought her closer to the thought of Dr. Nise da Silveira “, Marcela Marques Abla, is part of the collective mandate of IAB-RJ, responsible for the co-presidency of Gender Policies.

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