Architectural Brazil: 10 Breathtaking Modern Monuments

September 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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View of the covered courtyard designed by Roberto Burle Marx

When it comes to architectural photography, very few hold as much international esteem as Leonardo Finotti.  His muse is the architecture of Brazil– the works of Niemeyer, of Bardi, of Costa, of da Rocha and others.  As Brazilian architecture is amongst the world’s most progressive, most intercultural, Mr. Finotti is that creative melting pot’s most storied visual diplomat.  To celebrate Brazil’s greatest architectural monuments, we asked Leonardo Finotti himself to share with us his favorite works of Brazilian architecture.  If the country of Brazil holds a special place in your heart, you will no doubt appreciate this list of the South American nation’s 10 greatest architectural monuments.

National Congress of Brazil by Oscar Niemeyer

Overall view from west

In what building does your national congress meet?  If you take a step back, look at your national buildings with fresh eyes, they generally reflect a time far past and a symbolism long dead.  In Brazil, the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer gave his vision to his own country’s congress with the National Congress of Brazil building.  The design yields the feeling of balanced emotion, with two opposing sides intersected by a symbol of equality.  Whether the cup is half full or half empty, it is the justice of the national congress of Brazil that provides the true balance.  Niemeyer’s vision is alive and well in the Brazilian congress of today.

National Congress of Brazil Gallery

South facade of the tower with both curves volumes on left Overall view from west Night view of the complex with the iconic white shapes and the t

Brazilian Museum of Sculpture by Paulo Mendes da Rocha

General view of the courtyard

Fans of Ayn Rand’s classic book The Fountainhead may recognize a bit of the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture from the story of Howard Roark’s temple of humanity.  While there is no scuplture of Dominique within, this simple, concrete structure holds this South American nation’s most prized sculptural works.  What is angular and barren is accented by vibrant, shapely works of art molded into forms more imaginative than can be seen.  Da Rocha’s museum houses them perfectly, providing an unobtrusive canvas that earns an equal respect as the art held within.  [link]

Brazilian Museum of Sculpture Gallery

Overall view from west View of the ramp at the entrance General view of the courtyard

Brazil TV Tower by Lucio Costa

View of the base of the TV Tower, the platform and the three pil

Surprisingly, one of Brazil’s most recognizable and celebrated works of architecture is one that broadcasts another form of art entirely.  The Brazil TV Tower by Lucio Costa is a high standing monument to Brazilian technological achievement and a lasting artistic sensibility celebrated in architecture.  The TV Tower is one of the nation’s tallest buildings, and its progressive design remains amongst the forefront of the field whether or not its use is beginning to fall to the wayside. [link]

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