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Oscar Niemeyer

Cathedral of Brasilia
National Congress
Cathedral of Brasilia

 Architects : Oscar Niemeyer

 Location : Brasilia, Brazil
 Architect : Oscar Niemeyer
 Project Year : 1960
Cathedral of Brasilia
 The architecture of Brasilia reflects the
richness and prominence of the culture as
a planned city.
Cathedral of Brasilia
 The church bears much importance in the
society, so the design had to have
significance and personality against its
 Oscar Niemeyer was sure to make a
statement with the powerful expression
and unique form of the Cathedral
of Brasilia, which led to his acceptance of
the Pritzker Prize in 1988.
Cathedral of Brasilia
 The cornerstone was laid in early
September of 1958, when designs were
beginning to be proposed and thoroughly
planned out by Oscar Niemeyer.
 With a diameter of 70m, the only visible
structure of the cathedral being sixteen
concrete columns with a very peculiar
shape. Reaching up towards the sky to
represent two hands, the columns have
parabolic sections.
Cathedral of Brasilia
Cathedral of Brasilia
 After the addition of the external transparent
windows, the Cathedral was dedicated on May
31st of 1970. Figuratively guarding the exterior
of the church stand four bronze sculptures,
each 3m high.
Cathedral of Brasilia
These represent the Evangelists and were
made with the help of Dante Croce in
1968. More sculptures can be seen inside
the nave, where three angels are
suspended by steel cables.
 Ranging in size from 2.22 to 4.25m long
and weighing 100kg-300kg each, these
were completed by Alfredo Ceschiatti and
Dante Croce in 1970.
Cathedral of Brasilia
 Hand-painted ceramic tiles cover the
walls of the oval-shaped Baptistery, done
by Athos Bulcao in 1977.
 The Cathedral is completed with its bell
tower, housing four bells that were
donated by Spain.
 More obvious details of the interior are
the stained glass windows, with different
shades of blue, white and brown.
Cathedral of Brasilia
 These were pieced together to fit between
the steel columns, into 30m high triangles
that run 10m across. The alter was donated
by Pope Paul VI, as well as the image of the
Patroness Lady of Aparecida.
 Upon entering into the Cathedral, there
stands a marble pillar with pictures of
passages of the life of Our Lady, painted by
Athos Bulcao.
Cathedral of Brasilia
 Because it is located at the Esplanada dos
Ministerios, there is not a fixed
community that attends services.
 A majority of those that come to the
Mass are tourists or workers at the
Esplanada dos Ministerios.
 The Cathedral is open daily for public
Cathedral of Brasilia
National Congress

 Architects : Oscar Niemeyer

 Location : National Congress - Praça dos
Três Poderes, Brasilia, Brasília - Federal
District, 70160-900, Brazil
 Project Year : 1960
National Congress
National Congress
 Located at the head of the abstract bird-
shaped city plan by Lúcio Costa, and as
the only building within the central
greensward of the eastern arm of the
Monumental Axis, the palace of the
National Congress (Congresso Nacional)
enjoys pride of place among Oscar
Niemeyer’s government buildings
in Brasília.
National Congress
The concept of a purpose-built capital
city in the interior of the country dates
back to Brazil’s independence from
Portugal following the Napoleonic Wars,
and was even enshrined in Brazil’s first
Republican Constitution in 1891.
 It was not until Niemeyer’s friend and
patron Juscelino Kubitschek was elected
president in 1956 that progress truly
began in earnest.
National Congress
National Congress
 the National Congress is certainly the
most prominent, and the most symbolic
of Brasília as the seat of the national
National Congress
 Here Costa’s city plan and Niemeyer’s
architecture are literally joined together:
the two wide avenues that mark the
Monumental Axis are raised on artificial
berms to match the roof level of the two-
story plinth of the National Congress
building, and triangular segments extend
from each corner of the long, flat,
overhanging roof to just barely touch the
edges of the roadways.
National Congress
 Rising above the flat roof, two “cupolas” indicate
the assembly chambers of Brazil’s bicameral
legislature. Previously housed in two separate
buildings in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer brought the
two legislative chambers together in Brasília.
 A long ramp leads from a driveway to the
building. Split into two segments, one section of
ramp leads to the entrance of the building, while
the other section leads to the marble clad roof of
the plinth.
 Originally intended as a public plaza, the roof has
since been closed off due to security concerns.
National Congress
National Congress
 Beyond the assembly chambers, legislators’ offices and other
administrative functions are housed in twin twenty-seven
story towers.
 Set just north of center, the towers preserve uninterrupted
views along the center of the Monumental Axis, between the
two cupolas, and balance the visual weight of the bowl-
shaped cupola to the south.
 Though they appear to be basic slab towers, the buildings are
actually five-sided in plan, each with two slightly angled
façades, coming to a point in the narrow space between the
two towers.
 The towers are also connected by a three-story bridge on
the fourteenth through sixteenth floors.
 Offices and meeting rooms are located along the outer edges
of the towers, while elevators and other service spaces face
into the space between the towers.
National Congress
National Congress
The grand entry ramp is on the opposite
side of the building, and a large reflecting
pool separates it from the plaza.
 In 1987 Brasília was declared aUNESCO
world heritage site, made more significant
by the fact that it was the first site less
than 100 years old, and the first example
of the Modernist movement to achieve
this distinction.
National Congress