BRASILIA - APRIL 2008
Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira (JK), then President of the Republic, and Oscar Niemeyer, architect, are definitely - with Lúcio Costa, urban planner - the three names more closely linked to the building of Brasilia.
Elected in late 1955 for a five year term under the slogan «Fifty years of progress in five», JK ordered the construction of Brasilia, fulfilling an article of the Constitution dating back to 1891 and stating that the capital should be moved from Rio de Janeiro to a place close to the centre of the country. The idea was originally conceived in 1827 when a plan for a new city called Brasilia was presented to the Chamber. The bill was not enacted because Emperor Pedro I dissolved the Assembly. So, Brazil had to wait until 1956 to see the move to start...
Oscar Niemeyer, who is currently 101 years old (born on December 15, 1907), uses to say: «When someone goes to Brasilia, I always say: you may like it or deslike it, but you have never seen something similar... And that's architecture: invention!».
"JK MEMORIAL - Seen from behind, waving to the people in a very familiar way... Designed by Niemeyer"
"FORD GALAXIE used by JK"
"JK BRIDGE - According to Wikipedia, «the main span structure has four supporting pillars submerged under Lake Paranoá, and the deck weight is supported by three 200-foot tall asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross diagonally». The 1200m structure was designed by architect Alexandre Chan and engineer Mário Vila Verde"
"NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE REPUBLIC - mainly used for temporary exhibitions"
"NIEMEYER AT THE MUSEUM - Scale model of Niemeyer's works on display at the National Museum of the Republic""
"MUSEU DE ARTE CONTEMPORÂNEA - Photo of Niemeyer's Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, with view to Rio de Janeiro's Sugar Loaf Hill"
"NATIONAL LIBRARY LEONEL BRIZOLA"
"CATHEDRAL - Niemeyer's cathedral is a concrete-framed hyperboloid structure dedicated on 31 May 1970 to Our Lady of the Aparecida. The columns represent hands moving upwards to heaven. The four evangelists are a work by Alfredo Ceschiatti"
"CATHEDRAL - Inside, the Angels are also by Ceschiatti"
"DON BOSCO SANCTUARY - Don Bosco, fouder of the Salesian Society, made a profecy: «Between parallels 15 and 20, around a lake which shall be formed; A great civilization will thrive, and that will be the Promised Land». Brasília is located between the parallels 15º and 20º South, where the artificial lake Paranoá was cerated; no wonder that Don Bosco became Brasilia's patron saint"
"MASONRY - In Brasilia everything was planned, even the Sector for temples. The Grande Oriente do Brasil, the oldest association of Masonic lodges in Brazil, moved its seat to Brasilia in 1978. The triangular building has an area of more than 7,800 square metres"
"TEMPLE OF GOOD WILL - On October 21, 1989, the journalist and President of the Legion of Good Will, José de Paiva Netto, founded in Brasília the Temple of Good Will — also known as the Temple of Peace or the Pyramid of the Luminous Spirits"
"ECUMENIC PARLIAMENT of the Legion of Good Will"