Sunday, July 12, 2009


Brasilia Cathedral

Supremo Tribunal Federal Brasília

Brasilia is a World Heritage site, described by UNESCO as, "a landmark in the history of town planning." Brasilia was planned and developed in the 1950s by planner Lucio Costa, and the city's architect was Oscar Niemeyer.

The city's design emphasizes both the need for easy transportation and the necessity of transportation. In other words, the city is designed around the car, for the car. Uses are separated, making the city unwalkable. The city's modern architecture is uninviting and bland and sterile. Brazil's capitol is a futuristic concrete wasteland, a contradiction of it's own character and people. There may be no greater failure of modern city planning and of modern architecture.

Brasilia Museu Nacional da República

National Library in Brasilia


  1. That's absolutely true. I'm Brazilian and I totally share your opinion. Brasilia, our capital is an aesthetic mistake, an architectural fart of Oscar Niemeyer, who, by the way, overreached good sense in embracing the philosophy that "less is more". Once a Brazilian newspaper published a quote by the wife of an Ambassador living in Brasilia. She said: "Last night I dreamed that I was killing Oscar Niemeyer." You know what? That's plain truth. Continuing on my first trip to the eyesore. To make things worse, one can barely breathe in Brasilia in most of the months of the year. The humiditu can be as low as 20%. And for you to be sure you are on a tour in hell, the locals can be grunchy and can easily pull a long face out of nothing. On the weekend they flee to the seaside, to breathe and to get a rest of the eyesore.

  2. Agreed. Huge contrast. Un ugly city in a beautiful country

  3. Disagreed. Those buildings are spectacular and inspiring works of creativity in architecture. There's nothing sterile about them; they're exuberant and welcoming. Brazilians should be proud. I want to visit this city.

  4. Gordie, you're nuts man. I have been to Brasilia twice, and I'm sitting here right now. You can take my place. This city is UGLY. The buildings are horrible. Most of them remind me of my time in a dusty little town in southern India (although I liked it there). But in India, you could get around! In Brasilia, everything revolves around the car. This city is truly some sort of disaster. And add to that the fact that it is super expensive because there are so many government workers with inflated salaries here, and you have the perfect storm.

    I mean, I paid R$145 for a gym in Rio. That was expensive. Here? R$310 for one month. You have to be nuts to live in this place. I feel bad for Brazil's diplomats.