Brasília’s Attempt to Mask Its Legacy Infuriates Brazilian Architects
Last week Brazilian architects protested Brasília’s engagement with Singapore’s Jurong Consultants to devise a new urban master plan for Brazil’s capital. The result was a protest at an annual Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB) meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Donning masks and chanting Oscar Niemeyer’s and Lúcio Costa’snames, the architects and urban planners shouted their disapproval of outsourcing Brasília’s future to a foreign country.
Of course Singapore is a leader in urban planning; nonetheless Brazil is laden with talented architects, designers and planners. True, Brasília has its share of problems as the result of unchecked growth. What worked for Niemeyer and Costa, the fathers of Brasília and Brazil’s modernist take on design, 50 years ago must be amended now so that the capital can grow sustainably in the future. Brazil’s leadership in architecture and design is one of the great legacies of the 20th century: Brasília should embrace it, not turn its back on the country’s design heritage.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia (Beth Castelo)