BRASÍLIA 50 ANOS | URBAN PLANNING :: BRASÍLIA ::: quickFACTS
Salvador da Bahia (Brazil’s “capital of happiness”) was the first capital of Portuguese America:
From 1763 to 1960, Rio de Janeiro ruled:
In the 1820s, Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, Brazil’s “Patriarch of Independence,” proposed the name Brasília for a future capital to be in the interior state of Goias, but moving the government from Rio went nowhere until the former mayor Belo Horizonte (who had created Pampulha with Oscar Niemeyer as architect), became president.
Upon assuming office in 1956, President Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira ordered the construction of Brasília:
It was argued that locating the capital in the central plateau would spur develop of the Central-West Region (the yellow bits) of the country:
It was also a time of thinking big.
“A new capital city in the middle of nowhere?”
“Sure, why not?”
THE “BIG 3” OF BRAZILIAN DESIGN EACH PLAYED A ROLE:
Lúcio Costa won the design contest and was new city’s main urban planner:
Oscar Niemeyer, a close friend of Costa’s, was the chief architect (he, Le Corbusier and his apostle Richard Meier comprise my 3 Heroes of Architecture):
Oscar Niemeyer in Brasília 1957. © Lisl Steiner
Roberto Burle Marx was the landscape designer:
He also designed the landscape architecture for most of the important mid-century buildings in Brazil, as well as the sinuous Calçadão de Copacabana in Rio:
Above: photo by Alessandro Amorim
Brasília was built in 41 months, from 1956 to April 21, 1960 when it was officially inaugurated
This statue, “Dois Candangos” by Bruno Giorgi, commemorates the outstanding achievement of the thousands of Brazilians who built the city of the future:
Strictly speaking only people born in Brasília are ‘Brasilienses’
Those who have immigrated to Brasília are called ‘Candangos’
Bruno Giorgi, Personnages. Steel, 33 x 11 cm. Source: Milton & Associés. Sold for an undisclosed sum on Friday, 28 March 2008.
I love that statue! Here’s more about Giorgi:
According to legend, in 1883 Italian saint Don Bosco had a prophetic dream in which he described a futuristic city that would rise in a location that roughly corresponds to Brasília
He is the city’s patron saint; this is the sanctuary named after him in Brasília:
When seen from above, the city’s pilot plan (“Plano Piloto”) resembles the shape of an airplane:
Others see it as a bird with open wings:
(Costa hated all comparisons). His original urban concept pointed to the shape of a cross, to symbolize possession:
Brasília continues to be a world reference in the field of urban planning:
Brasília has a sui generis status in Brazil, given that it is not a municipality like nearly all cities in Brazil.
Although there is no legal definition for Brasília, the term is almost always used synonymously with the Brazilian Federal District, and thus constitutes an indivisible Federative Unit, analogous to a state.
In the region, however, the word Brasília often refers only to the First Administrative Region within the Distrito Federal(Federal District), also known as “Plano Piloto,” where the most important government buildings are located.
This is in contrast with the surrounding “satellite cities,” which nevertheless are also part of the Federal District, and as such, Brasília, in a broader sense.
– Wikipedia, “Brasília“
Above and below: the Palácio da Alvorada (Palace of the Dawn), the official residence of the President of Brazil
Click on the screenshot below to explore Wikimapia’s Brasília:
The capital of Brazil is the only city in the world built in the 20th century to be awarded (in 1987) the status of Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Below: one of my favourite photos of the city (by Augusto Areal), showing the cathedral and rows of Ministry buildings:
To see more fantastic shots of this City of the Future, visit Luiz Felipe Castro’s flickr set.
Venturis ventis > “To the coming winds”
Brasília: My City of the Future!
URBAN PLANNING | BRASÍLIA50 ANOS :: 21 ABRIL 1960 – 21ABRIL 2010 ::: MY NEW FAVOURITE PHOTO OF THE FUTURE, ca. 1960
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- 2010/01/18 / 14:00
- ARCHITECTS + ARCHITECTURE, ART + ARTISTS, BRASÍLIA 50 ANOS, BRASIL, CITIES | BRASÍLIA, CORPORATE IDENTITY, MAPS, OSCAR NIEMEYER, PUBLIC ART, STAMPS + MONEY, URBAN PLANNING