Brasilia Palace Hotel, detail of wall painting by Athos Bulcao, architect: Oscar-Niemeyer, 1958; Photo: Edgard Cesar
The Brasilia Palace Hotel was officially opened in June 1958. With 13.000 square metres and a capacity of 350 guests, it was the first big hotel in town. The purpose of the hotel was initially to host the delegations, who visited the revolutionary new city that was newly built from scratch in the middle of the rainforest.
Catherdral in Brasilia, new glass facade, photo by Luidi Nunes /Glashütte Lamberts Waldsassen
On the occasion of the 50th annivarsary of Brasilia the famous cathedral by Oscar Niemeyer, the leading architect of this urban experiment, was restored extensively. Its sophisticated glazing which was strongly affected by pollution and the tropical climate even needed to be completely reconstructed. Especially Marianne Peretti (82) who designed together with Oscar Niemeyer this colourful facade was pleased about this intervention. Under the strict supervision of Instituto de Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, the Institute for National Historical and Artistic Heritage and the consultancy of Luidi Nunes, a famous Brazilian glass artist, the glassblowers of the German company LambertsGlas produced all glass pieces for the 16 huge glazed roof sections. The further processing, traditional lead glazing, was carried out at Luidi Nunes’ studio in Brazil.
With his documentary about the Berlin Hansaviertel the young Berlin-based film-maker Marian Engler created a chronicle piece about an example of successful and forward-looking architecture in post-war Germany. The film consists of impressive views of houses by Oscar Niemeyer, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto and others. With interviews of time-wittnesses of the 50’s as well as young residents of the Hansaviertel and architects, among them Oscar Niemeyer himself, Marian Engel tries to figure out if the concept of the ‘city of tomorrow’ works, after all. The film is in German language with English subtitles.
Apartment building by Egon Eiermann, Hansa quater Berlin
Here the synopsis:
In 1957 the first International Construction Exhibition after the war took place in Berlin.
At the „Interbau’57“ 64 world famous architects of the classical modernism came together to realise their vision of a „city of tomorrow“. Under them visionists like Le Corbusier, Oskar Niemeyer, Walter Gropius and Arne Jacobsen.
They did not only want to provide new flats for the bombed out residents. With their plan of a green city-landscape they wanted to create a peaceful and democratic society.
The documentary shows the beginning and the history of the Hansaviertel. It is dedicated to the people who live there today and asks for the success of an international praised role model for town construction. But can you find thehigh ideological requirements of progress, democracy and freedom in the heads of the people who live there today?
At 101 years old, Oscar Niemeyer shows no signs of giving up on his passion for a hard day’s graft. As his age and experience grow, so too does the gravitas of his projects, as Niemeyer’s inaugural Spanish project proves.
Still under construction but already hosting international events
Despite an expected completion date of Spring 2010, the Oscar Niemeyer International Culture Center in Avilés, Spain, is already playing host to events of international grandeur. A world premiere of the Woody Allen film Cassandra’s Dream as well as a meeting of further cinematic hard hitters Wim Wenders and Carlos Saura have been held in the Dome of the development. But an altogether more significant event, the 2009 World Cultural Diplomacy Forum is also set to take place at the Center from September 15-17. This will see 200 world leaders in culture convene in what is effectively still a construction site to discuss international conflicts in culture, fitting given the Brazilian-Spanish ‘deportation wars’ last year that saw the two countries refusing entry by each other’s nationals.
Culture Center in Avilés
The building was commissioned by the city of Avilés as they prepare to compete for the European Capital of Culture 2016. Spain and Poland have been chosen on rotation to battle it out with many cities throughout the two countries engaging in cultural enhancements to grasp the title.
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