Brasília, Brazil

Picture a description of Brave New World:

A brief reference to the Hatchery itself — a “squat” building of “only thirty-four stories” — also gives a sense of the surrounding landscape, a city, by implication, of lofty heights. 

That was the eerie impression I received from Brasília, the capital of Brazil. Founded in 1960, the capital was built on an immensely ambitious dream led by then-president Juscelino Kubitschek.

Suffocated by the violence and humidity of Rio de Janeiro and drowning in the vastness of São Paulo, Kubitschek, riding on a high train of economic prosperity developed a daring idea, to move the capital of Brazil to a climatically balanced and regionally convenient area. The expeditious construction of Brasília lasted 3.4 years, under the supervision of Lúcio Costa, and the architectural plans of Oscar Niemeyer. Niemeyer envisioned Brasília to be representative of its future, following the almost laughable flag motto of order and progress. Architecturally, each governmental and residential building has a sterile and clean finish that is properly referred to as Modernism. I later found out my judgment wasn’t far off, for Oscar Neimeyer was a die-hard communist.

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 Palácio do Planalto the President’s workplace 
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Oscar Niemeyer’s plan called for Brasília to be shaped like an airplane. The body contains governmental/administrative buildings and the wings are where the upper-class resides. 

Brasília was meant to be everything Rio wasn’t: spacious, organized, and devoid of favelas. The city, designed in the utmost modern pretenses of the time, was meant to be traversed by car, becoming extremely pedestrian unfriendly and creating a limitless appearance. What Oscar Niemeyer, Lúcio Costa, or Kubitschek couldn’t have imagined was how erroneous they would be about the evolution of Brazil. The “order and progress” has been grossly overshadowed by the continuous corruption of its government and politicians, driving its people to lose an immense respect and foster distrust and contempt. If anything, Rio is a better representation of the borderline chaos Brazil is enduring. 

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Brasília’s main TV tower
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Memorial JK, Juscelino Kubitschek waving to all of Brasília inside a structure resembling a… sickle?
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Santuario Dom Bosco

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The National Library of Brasília
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The National Museum

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Cathedral of Brasília

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Just outside its gates, the other side of Brazil. 

 

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