It’s been a month since Brazil lost one of its oldest and most representative assets. A fire destroyed and erased more than 200 years of the Paço de São Cristóvão’s architectural history. The building served as a residence for the royal family, and turned a great part of its collection into dust, with many of the items being one-of-a-kind. The National Museum is seeking to rebuild in the aftermath of the tragedy.
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Open Letter From the Institute of Brazilian Architects Regarding the Tragic, Irrevocable Loss of Brazil's National Museum
The following is text is an open letter from the Institute of Brazilian Architects in response to the devastating fire that tore through Brazil's National Museum on Sunday evening.
The Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB), fulfilling its mission of contributing to the technical-scientific and sociocultural development of the country and preserving the national cultural heritage, deeply mourns the irreparable loss of the National Museum, the central institution of culture and science located in the district of São Cristóvão, in Rio de Janeiro, that was consumed by fire on the night of September 2nd.
The fire in Quinta da Boa Vista not only left a an architectural ensemble declared national heritage in ruins but also destroyed millions of artifacts and historical documents belonging to its collection, which were of worldwide relevance and among the most representative of Brazilian history. It is, therefore, an irrevocable loss, which is being lamented by everyone who cares about Brazilian culture and memory, both in Brazil and abroad.
Brazil's National Museum, one of Latin America's most important museums, was completely destroyed by a fire that started at 7:30 pm on Sunday evening. It housed over 20 million items related to the history of the Americas, many if not all of which were lost.
A report in the Rio Times indicates that the museum had operated normally on Sunday and closed its doors at 5:00 pm, two and a half hours before the blaze began. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Chosen from 81 entries, Office Ou, a Toronto-based architecture and landscape design firm, has been announced as the winner of South Korea's International Competition for the National Museum Complex Master Plan of the New Administrative City (Sejong City). As a proposed self-sustaining city of 500,000 people, Sejong City will serve as South Korea's administrative city, transferring multiple national government functions from Seoul. The Museum Gardens will amplify the cultural landscape of South Korea's new metropolis.
Though architectural history is replete with bricks, stones, and steel, there is no rule that states that architecture must be ‘solid’. Sverre Fehn, one of the most prominent architects of postwar Norway, regularly made use of heavy materials like concrete and stone masonry in his projects . In this way, his proposal for the Nordic Pavilion at the Osaka World Expo in 1970 could be seen as an atypical exploration of a more delicate structure. Representing a very different aspect of ‘Modernity’ than his usual work, Fehn’s “breathing balloon” pavilion stands not only in contradiction to Fehn’s design canon, but to that of traditional architecture as a whole.