Brasília (World Heritage)

Brasília (World Heritage)

According to philosophynearby, the “City of Modernism” was designed on the drawing board by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer at the end of the 1950s and has been Brazil’s new capital since its inauguration in 1960. The city is considered an icon of modern urban planning.

Brasília: facts

Official title: Brasília
Cultural monument: “City of Modernity” based on designs by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer; City plan designed in the form of a bird, construction of a 40 km² reservoir, Lago do Paranoá, and the Square of the Three Powers (Praça dos Três Poderes) together with the National Congress; with other government buildings such as the Palácio do Planalto, the Palácio da Alvorada, residence of the President, Palácio do Itamarati, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the monument to the “builder of the city”, the monument to Juscelino Kubitschek
Continent: America
Country: Brazil
Location: Brasília
Appointment: 1987
Meaning: “Icon of modern urban planning”

Brasília: history

1891 Planning a new capital is enshrined in the new Brazilian constitution
12/15/1907 Birth of the future star architect Oscar Ribiero de Almeida Niemeyer Soares
1922 Laying of the foundation stone for the new capital
1956-60 Planning and construction of the new capital
1998 Death of the architect and “father of modern architecture”, Lúcio Costa, who was born in Toulon in 1902; in Brazil, a three-day state mourning order
2012 Death of Oscar Niemeyer, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1907; in the state of Río de Janeiro order a three-day state mourning

Monument to a faded future

The glass doors of the airport terminal open silently. The air seems to be crackling with dryness. As lost giant toys, building blocks and stone crumbs stand out on the horizon. Crippled trees and billboards whisk past, boards with secret codes show the way through the steppe. The city seems to move away like a mirage the closer you get to it.

In a thousand days, an army of construction workers stamped Brazil’s new capital from the red earth of Planalto. The relocation of the capital from the densely populated coast to the deserted plateau seemed an act of sheer megalomania. With Brasília, the then President Juscelino Kubitschek wanted to start the nation’s departure into the third millennium: »From the middle of this plateau, from this loneliness, which will soon be the brain of national decisions, I look into the future of the country and see it Dawn glow. ”

Money didn’t matter, it was poured into concrete. With the excavation pits in Brasília, the Brazilian debt mountain began to grow. »Candangos«, day laborers and homeless people from the hungry regions of the northeast, moved to the gigantic construction site. Wild west cities sprout up out of the steppe, gold rush mood spread. The have-nots who had created a city for ministers, diplomats and civil servants did not think of simply moving on after their work was done. To keep the rulers’ world free from these people, the authorities hastily built faceless satellite towns far removed from the brave new world of modernity. Ten years after it was founded, the government district was already home to more people than expected at the turn of the millennium. Minister, Diplomats and officials, however, were only lured into the red desert with great effort. Appropriate service villas, free flight tickets, generous local surcharges, special leave and other perks had to help to get the bureaucrats to move from Río de Janeiro.

Everything that belongs to a city is missing in Brasília. There are neither places to linger, streets to stroll through, secluded corners, nor bumps and crowds, noise and joie de vivre, pubs and alleyways as is usually the case in southern metropolises. The metropolis from the drawing board should be radically different. The architects of the new capital, Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, wanted to create a utopia: their credo was urbanity with light, air and sun, as clear as a crystal, as logical as an equation. Like the Brazilian capital, all future cities should one day be built, thought the modern planners in the East and West, who raved about green spaces, bypasses and unbundling. Modern, progressive, functional and without parking problems – the city of the future should be limitless.

The floor plan of the city, in which pedestrians actually have no space, resembles an airplane: the pilot’s cockpit is the congress, the first class is occupied by the ministries. The tourist class is located in the south and north hotel sector. The wings on the left and right are Asa Norte and Sul, crossed by the main spar, the Eixo Central: Brasília – a total work of art. But the beaten track across the wide open spaces and against the plan show that not everything can be planned. In the “temple city of transcendental homelessness”, according to a critic on the occasion of the 80th birthday of star architect Niemeyer, human will unexpectedly opposes the form specifications of concrete.

Brasília (World Heritage)