BRASÍLIA 50 ANOS | The Buildings :: The New Digital TV Tower

This project by Oscar Niemeyer — the 103-year-old maestro of Brazilian architecture — has flown under the radar of the architectural community’s press.

What is somewhat radical about this design is that that tower’s location is so obviously off the Monumental Axis that Lúcio Costa planned for all of the city’s monumental buildings (see map below).

What’s also radical is that Costa himself (he of the small portfolio of built buildings) designed the current TV Tower. It’s one of the few non-Niemeyers in the capital. This newfangled tower is certain to downgrade Costa’s addition to the Axis.

Height dictates that the new tower be positioned on the city’s highest piece of real estate. Burning question: how will those domes keep their cool under Brasília’s relentless heat?

I love the name: “Savannah Flower” — it’s very Niemeyeresque.




Some fast facts:

Height: 185 m (about 62 stories)

Number of Glass Domes: 2

Programs in the domes: 1 restaurant @ 80 m; 1 art gallery @ 60 m (another Niemeyer gallery?)

Surrounded by: 1 Curved ramp over 1 reflecting pool (what else?)

Foundation: 13.4 meters deep with 2 billion cubic meters of concrete

Best translated pull quote (by Brazil’s Secretary of Culture): “I’m very optimistic, because this will be one of our sights. I’m sure.”

Space Age Quotient: 89%

New Target Date for Inauguration: October 2010

“Obra da Torre de TV Digital de Brasília, projeto de Oscar Niemeyer” Foto > Xavier Donat, Flickr

“Torre de TV Digital – Brasilia: Obras em 27-jun-2010″ by Ronaldo Maciel, Flickr “New TV tower under construction. Photo taken from the old TV tower observation deck, Brasília, DF” by espiritossanto, Flickr





The prevision is that the concrete part should be ready for the 50th anniversary of Brasília on the 21st of April. The 60 meters metallic antenna on top of the tower, that will allow the transmission of the digital signal, should be ready by July 2010.

– Agência Brasília


 Foto > Anofre Sena

Fotos > George Gianni

Com 183 metros de altura, Torre de Televisão Digital também promete se tornar mais um ponto turístico da cidade

With 183 meters tall, the Tower of Digital TV also promises to become more a tourist city

Fotos > Morio, Wikipedia

Google Maps > The old tower on Lúcio Costa’s Eixo Monumental (“Monumental Axis)

The Monumental Axis’ first section, the Ministries Esplanade, as viewed from the Brasilia TV Tower







When things go wrong department
Brazil - NYT
Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.44.20 PM

Other public ventures sit vacant. Officials in Natal, in northeast Brazil, spent millions on wavy buildings designed by Mr. Niemeyer, opening them in 2006 and 2008. But they abandoned them almost immediately, allowing squatters to occupy some areas; the authorities now say they have plans to refurbish the buildings. Another Niemeyer project, a $30 million television transmission tower in Brasília designed like a futuristic flower, remains unused two years after it was inaugurated.


Americas | Grand Visions Fizzle in Brazil > Read the sad story here.



Launched 22 months ago, digital TV tower Brasilia still does not work

Fernando Rodrigues

21/02/2014 08:00

The Tower of digital TV Brasília, inaugurated 22 months ago, today plays only an aesthetic purpose: to beautify the capital’s skyline. No electromagnetic wave is emitted from the monument, erected at a cost of £ 80 million.

Designed by Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012), the tower earned the nickname “Flor do Cerrado” because of its shape. Is on a hill 12 km from the city center and has 170 feet tall, equivalent to a 55 storey building. Can be seen from afar.

Construction began in 2009, the government of José Roberto Arruda. The plan was to inaugurate it on the fiftieth anniversary of Brasilia in April 2010. Was completed two years later, the management Agnelo Queiroz.

The second goal, transmit the digital signal in the Confederations Cup, in June 2013, also not confirmed. Lacked power generators, air-conditioning in boxes of equipment and space for the cables that carry the signal to the top of the tower.

TV stations have sought alternatives. Record, Bandeirantes SBT and obtained a provisional government permission to install their digital transmitters in the old TV tower, next to the analog equipment. Since they are in a congested area, operating at reduced power. The Globe resorted to an antenna CEB (Electric Company of Brasília) in the satellite town of Sobradinho.

The repeated delays have 2 common reasons for Brazilian public works: lack of administrative continuity and errors in design and execution.

Among José Roberto Arruda, who started building the tower and eventually revoked by the courts, and Agnelo Queiroz, the Federal District had 3 governors in 11 months: Octavio Paulo, Lima and Wilson Roger Rosso.

The “Flor do Cerrado” opens without basic items such as bed-space cables through which the wires connecting the transmitters at the top of the antenna, the equipment of the stations, installed on the ground.

“The work has cost to get ready and there were some errors in execution,” says Flávio Lara, president of Avec (Association of Communication Vehicles DF). “A lot of people moved on the project began in Arruda government and came to the Agnelo” he says.

The Terracap, the DF government company responsible for the work, said to be finalizing the last details of the tower and that the problems are “treated right” with the engineers of the stations.

In February 2013, the site has come to serve as a backdrop for the PMDB took one of their party programs, with PMDB speaking from the environment “futuristic” the building.

The brasiliense state ensures that the antenna transmit the digital signal before the opening of the World Cup, here at 4 months. The president of Avec has the same goal: “We will be there in the Cup. God willing. “

(Bruno Lupion) – translated by Google


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