INTRODUCTION Brazilian colonial architecture was derived from Portugal, with adaptations demanded by the tropical climate. The more enduring examples of this very attractive style are to be found in the churches and monasteries of the older cities. From the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of this century Brazilian architects were under a pervasive French influence. Since then, without losing contact with innovators in other countries, such as Le Corbusier in France and Frank Lloyd Wright in the U.S., architecture in Brazil has evolved its own style. It now attracts worldwide attention as one of the country's most characteristic art forms. The volume and pace of urban expansion during the last 30 years have provided exceptional opportunities for combining social and functional needs with artistic expression. The result has been not only the burgeoning of many fine buildings, but also the birth of entire suburbs and completely new cities. The two main architects that have contributed to this evolution are: OSCAR NIEMEYER LINA BO BARDI
OSCAR NIEMEYER Oscar Niemeyer was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1907 and he is considered one of the most important names in international modern architecture. Its most important works are concentrated in Brasilia, but you can admire other many masterpieces all around Brazil.
COPAN BUILDING The Copan was built between 1951 and 1966 and has since achieved the status of a masterwork of Modern urbanism. Located at the heart of Sao Paolo from the day of its establishment, it has become a major sought after destination for all. This building is considered to be the largest structure in Brazil. Designed for the then booming city centre, it was, like the New York Rockefeller Centre, to be a model of high-density urban living, incorporating shops and restaurants, a hotel and places of entertainment.
IBIRAPUERA PARK Designed in 1955 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of San Paolo, Ibirapuera Park is a large green area containing a Planetarium, a Museum of Modern Art and an Auditorium, all designed by Oscar Niemeyer.
This project used to be a factory complex, located in San Paulo. Between 1977 and 1982, it was converted into a multi-purpose building by Lina Bo Bardi, a collaboration between Italian architects Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi.
It now houses one of the units of SESC, a private, non-profit organization which promotes cultural and educational activities all over Brazil.
The SESC Pompeia complex became hugely successful, and now contains theatres, gymnasiums, a swimming pool, snack bars, leisure areas, restaurants, galleries, workshops and other kind of services.
MASP The Art Museum of San Paolo was constructed by the São Paulo City Hall, which commisioned the work in 1957, and inaugurated in 1968, with the presence of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The engineer who donated the plot of ground to the City Hall, tied the donation to an express commitment that no edification should ever be constructed in that plot that would harm the amplitude of the view. Therefore, the architect Lina Bo Bardi and engineer José Carlos Figueiredo conceived an underground block as well as a sustained structure, which would stand eight meters above the floor, with the use of four pillars connected by two huge concrete beams. In the construction of approximately 10,000 sq. meters there are - besides the permanent and temporary exhibition rooms – library, photo gallery, film gallery, video gallery, two auditoriums, restaurant, a store, workshop rooms, administrative offices and a technical reserved area.
CASA DE VIDRO The house was built in 1950-1951 as the residence of Lina and her husband. Though now part of the fashionable suburb of Morumbi, the Glass House once hovered over the remnants of the original rain forest, the mata Atlantica, with its dense, exuberant fauna and flora. In 1986 at the back of the residence the Instituto Lina Bo e P.M. Bardi was erected. It shelters the non-profit organization dedicated to Brazilian culture.
ROBERTO BURLE MARX (1909-1994) New buildings alone cannot create beautiful and harmonious urban environments. Alongside the bold new architectural concepts, a school of landscape designers headed by Roberto Burle Marx has arisen in Brazil to balance the images of concrete and glass structures with the welcoming greenery of gardens and parks. As a result of his work in many Brazilian cities, Burle Marx has acquired an international reputation. Examples of his work are now to be found in public and private gardens and parks in the Americas and in Europe.