The Copacabana calçada (Copacabana sidewalk) is one of the greatest symbols in the stunning landscape of Rio de Janeiro. What not everyone knows is that its history (and design) precedes the intervention of Roberto Burle Marx in the 1970s. The origin of the design, as well as its stones, is Portuguese.
Roberto Burle Marx: The Latest Architecture and News
To honor the work of one of the greatest modernists of the 20th century, Oscar Niemeyer, American-Brazilian photo artist Paul Clemence has released images of the architect’s iconic Itamaraty Palace. Housing Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters, the structure is also known as the Palace of the Arches.
"I felt like I was Nino Rota and Oscar Niemeyer was Fellini, it was like I was creating an important piece of music in that work of art." Renowned visual artist Athos Bulcão uses this comparison between the Italian composer and the film director to refer to the relationship between his work with ceramic tiles and architecture. This fusion between art and architecture marked an important period in the history of Brazil, shedding light on issues such as national identity, the massification of art, and architectural techniques aimed at the tropical climate.
How many LGBTQIA+ architects do you know? Surely you went to school with someone but probably never heard a professor mention one of them. Bringing up these names is key to understanding the fundamental role this population plays in the field of architectural theory and practice. This reveals their experiences more clearly, how they incorporate their identities into design and debates about architecture and urban planning. This is key for any person who identifies as LGBTQIA+ to feel comfortable expressing their individuality and their abilities in the profession.
There wasn’t much in the way of art that Roberto Burle Marx couldn’t do. He was a painter, print-maker, sculptor, stage designer, jeweler, musician, tapestry-maker and one of the leading landscape architects in the 20th century. Marx’s passion for art, in all forms, strengthened his ability to design landscapes.
At any given moment when walking through Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist at the Jewish Museum in New York, one may hear a soft rushing of waves, mixed with the murmur of an open-air crowd. A narration in Portuguese, both spoken and sung, will drift breezily in and out. This is the soundscape of Plages, a 2001 video by artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. Shot from an aerial perspective above Copacabana Beach, the film shows the popular Rio de Janeiro waterfront not in its usual sunlit splendor but in the artificially lit nocturne of New Year’s Eve 2000. Celebrators teem in the space between city and ocean, in the moment between one year and the next, moving in dynamic patterns amid the immense designs laid out by Roberto Burle Marx.
The Brazilian artist Roberto Burle Marx (1909-1994) is one of the most prominent landscape architects of the twentieth century. His famous projects range from the remarkable mosaic pavements on the seaside avenue of Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach to the multitude of gardens that embellish Brasilia, one of several-large scale projects he executed in collaboration with famed architect Oscar Niemeyer. Although his landscape design work is renowned worldwide, the artist’s work in other media remains little known. Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist therefore explores the richness and breadth of the artist’s oeuvre—from landscape architecture to painting, from sculpture to theater
Although construction was never completed, "El Helicoide" ("The Helix") in Caracas is one of the most important relics of the Modern movement in Venezuela. The 73,000 square meter project - designed in 1955 by Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, Peter Neuberger and Dirk Bornhorst - takes the form of a double spiral topped by a large geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller. It was characterized by a series of ascending and descending ramps meant to carry visitors to its variety of programmatic spaces - including 320 shops, a 5 star hotel, offices, a playground, a television studio and a space for events and conventions.
Today, Proyecto Helicoide (Project Helix) seeks to rescue the urban history and memory of the building through a series of exhibitions, publications and educational activities. More details on the initiative, after the break.
As a follow up to last weeks coverage on the Rio Carnival 2012 kick-off in Oscar Niemeyer’s newly renovated Sambadrome, we would like to share with you this stunning tilt-shift video capturing the essence of Rio de Janeiro and the colorful parade of the Carnival. You will also catch a glimpse of famous mosaic sidewalks of the Copacabana Beach Boardwalk designed by the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
*This video was filmed during Carnival of 2011.