National Congress of Brazil, Brasília

Feauture Imagine Source: Marcelo Jorge Vieira, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:National_Congress_of_Brazil.jpg

The National Congress of Brazil designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the city of Brasília is a masterpiece of modernist architecture. The building was finished in 1958.

The city of Brasília is in itself an incredibly interesting monumental city plan.

city-plan
Source: Casa de Lucio Costa, http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/newsletters/28_1/brasilia.html

The National Congress being at the ‘head’of the bird shaped city plan in the middle of a large green boulevard. The Congress building therefore plays an important part in having to be a monumental and landmark building in the middle of a city made up of landmarks and monuments. Oscar Niemeyer set out to create a building to be able to play that part in the city. The Congress is built up of two distinct parts. The two large towers and the horizontal building that spans across the boulevard

National_Congress_of_Brazil
Marcelo Jorge Vieira, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:National_Congress_of_Brazil.jpg

The building like any good modernist building is white, surrounded by green. Oscar Niemeyer was clearly inspired by great modernists like Le Corbusier.The glass facade that has been wedged between the two thick concrete plates (The floor and the roof). These give an almost magical illusion of the whole construction being lite as a feather. Most impressively to drive home this illusion Oscar Niemeyer has placed two large domes, one upturned on the buildings roof.

download
Source: Christoph Diewald, Under Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/chris_diewald/2656782975

The buildings use of simple geometric shapes, combined into such a way that the building is both very masculine and feminine. The play between sleek curves and hard lines creates a tangible tension within the building.

The two towers are strikingly different both in magnitude and direction.

1200px-Brasilia_Congresso_Nacional_05_2007_221
Source: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, Under Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brasilia_Congresso_Nacional_05_2007_221.jpg

They are two large rectangular blocks connected with the odd sky bridge. They are built up mainly of glass and concrete. They are the administration and office buildings of the Congress.

The buildings is one of Oscars’ greatest modernist achivements and a testiment to democracy.


Sources:

Archdaily, Wikipedia, Getty, Architecture.About

 

 

 

 

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