Brasília

Nicolas Behr

Let us start from the top, the TV Tower, the spectacular view of the city that one day was an idea.”

The city detaches from the ground and takes flight. Winged city, built for the sky to worship. Here we go, trying to decipher you. Let us start from the top, the TV Tower, the spectacular view of the city that one day was an idea. Down there, the fair, people, trades, looks. Souvenirs from Brasília. In the direction of Três Poderes Square we soon spot a fountain, shining, liquid. Moisture in the air. Then, more looks, rushed legs. Who comes and who goes to the satellite towns pass by. Meeting point. Engines. Axis against axis. Brasília’s bus station. Brilliant work of Lucio Costa. Before us: lawns, expansive lawns, palaces and monuments. The National Library and the Museum of the Republic. Niemeyer’s genius everywhere. Curves and shadows in the City of Light. Restless architecture. Straight lines, daring lines. The Cathedral, a masterpiece of the master, hands in prayer. May God forgive such beauty and audacity. We enter. To pray is to admire you. We go back out.

Vista aérea do complexo arquitetônico de BrasíliaThe tunnel is dark, passage. The evangelists of bronze and faith watching us. Taciturn. We come in sight of the Ministries, ready to act, bureaucratic, in queue. Rational and logical sequence. The trees hide the angles, greening the straight line. We arrive at Palácio dos Arcos (Palace of Arches). Palace of the gardens of Burle Marx. Of the Meteor Sculpture. Itamaraty Palace which water sustains. Lightness. On the opposite side, the Palace of Justice. More pouring water in waterfalls.

We get to the center, to the apex, to the core, the essence. Brain of national decisions. Square of All Powers. Plaza mayor. Changing of the flag, flagpole. Pantheon of the Fatherland. Planalto Palace, National Congress. The flame of the Motherland. Modernist museum in the open.Then, open cerrado. After the twisted trees we reach the precious jewel: the Alvorada Palace (Dawn Palace). Dawn of a new Brazil, said JK[1]. Columns inspired by the hammocks of colonial balconies. Modern, Greek Columns. Universal admiration. We fly over Paranoá Lake. Our air conditioning. The lake framing your soul, city drawn in the air. Little boats, herons, cormorants and darters. Dom Bosco Chapel, prophetic white point on the parallel 15. Peace sentinel. JK bridge.White. Solar. Beautiful. Harmonious. From the lake to its springs. Catetinho. The Beginning. Taboas Palace, the first work by the wood. Drinking water.

Memorial JKLet’s go back to Plano Piloto (Pilot Plan) flying over Cidade Livre (Free City), now Núcleo Bandeirante, where the endless saga began. Candangolândia. The Zoo. Asa Sul (South Wing). We arrive at the Temple of Good Will. ParlaMundi. Mandala. The path is made by walking. A refreshing jump in the pools of Água Mineral (Mineral Water), mandatory. More superquadras (superblocks). More collective spaces, backyards. The Brazilian genius revealed. Lucio Costa invented pilotis. Blocks. Blocks. Blocks. Lined up along an imaginary line, the axis. The little Church of Nossa Senhora de Fátima. The club, the cinema, the park-school. Neighborhood Unit. The city beats under the trees. City Park. Run and exercise. Bicycles, skates and children. Green, all very green. Blue, all very blue. Sky and sea. JK Memorial. To the Founder. JK smiles to the city, he waves. JK, our myth and hero. The return. Prepare for landing. The city connects to itself. Welcome, passengers of audacity.

Footnotes

[1] Juscelino Kubistchek was President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961, most known by the construction of the new capital, Brasília.