Arguably Brazil’s most celebrated female architect, Lina Bo Bardi developed one of the most visually touching works of architecture in her country’s theater scene. From natural wooden seating to stark concrete walls to colorful, creative set backdrops, Bardi’s work has made impressions on hundreds of theater goers each night.
If you’re a foreign government rep not lucky enough to be invited to the Palacio de Alvorada, you’re likely to end up at the equally beautiful Ministry of External Relations. This ministry houses Brazil’s office of diplomacy. In a place so beautiful, as designed by Niemeyer himself, you couldn’t ask for a better setting. Niemeyer’s work provides for hard evidence that design can play an active role in world politics, and the way our globe shapes itself in cultural awareness.
Another work by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer, Ibirapuera Park is a wide, expansive work of architecture capable of housing a celebration a single architecture lover all the way up to a large scale wedding party. Amongst many of Niemeyer’s public designs to be celebrated freely, Ibirapuera Park is an astonishing work of peace and progress in public architecture.
If you’re heading to Rio, you cannot miss the art of the Rio De Janeiro Museum of Modern Art itself. While what is contained within is truly a spectacle to see, the design of the MOMA in Rio demands respect unto itself. The museum occupies two opposing design sensibilities– one of repeated concrete and another of formed metal, a design that shares the building’s stark contrasts.
The Palacio de Alvorada is the official home of the President of Brazil. In Brazil, their modern art is as cherished and involved in their culture as can be, setting a mark of progress in a western world bound by tradition and circumstance. The face of Brazil’s government, the Palacio de Alvorada is where the President wines and dines dignitaries, international heads of state and other guests– proving that Brazil’s cultural sensibility is as progressive, smart and design-oriented as can be.
From the exterior, the Brazilian Ministry of Education may not appear as progressive as it is to the untrained eye. Step inside, and the Brazilian Ministry of Education celebrates modern design and cultural progress that is widely respected throughout this South American nation. A sheer glance at this building from an evening stroll, you’ll see precisely the vision that Niemeyer (and project partners Lucio Costa and Le Corbusier) had in creating this national spectacle.
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.
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.
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.