The Gardens Of Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil

The Gardens Of Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”Marcus Tullius Cicero

Roberto Burle Marx is considered to be the father of modern landscape architecture. He grew up in Rio at the end of Copacabana Beach near the Pau De Acucar – Sugarloaf. He started arranging flowers at events and eventually began getting asked to design gardens.(self-portrait)

IMG_5193

He bought a property two hours outside of Rio near the small town of Guaratiba, it is called Sitio de Roberto Burle Marx and tours are available in Portuguese.

DSCF5663

Even if you are not a plant person, you know that you have entered a privileged space.

DSCF5674

He restored the old house and chapel and began propagating plants collected on numerous expeditions in to the wilds of Brazil.

DSCF5579

There are large areas of a single type of ground cover surrounding clumps of sculptural agaves, bromeliads, plumerias, dracaenas, clusias, palms and a myriad of other plants.

DSCF5656

The 100 acres have 3500 plant species.  Plants are always used to emulate the way they would grow in their natural environment.

DSCF5626

Over the years he developed an extraordinary landscape climbing the hill and introduced hundreds of previously unused plants to the gardening world.

DSCF5633
His interest in painting had a great influence on his designs.

DSCF5597

His drawings for gardens look like abstract works on paper.

DSCF5659

The gardens themselves usually contain large masses of vividly colored plants in a variety of textures, relying more on foliage than flower.

DSCF5571

They are laid out in bold sweeping forms.  Garden structure tends toward the architectural, often with rectangles that reflect the forms of surrounding buildings.

DSCF5559

As his fame grew, he was commissioned to design parks and gardens throughout Brazil, South America and abroad. Burle Marx collaborated with architect Oscar Niemeyer on Iberapuera Park in São Paulo. They worked on several projects together throughout the world and were good friends.

DSCF5496
The Copacabana waterfront with its long wave patterned mosaic sidewalk is perhaps the most renowned work by Burle Marx.

DSCF5717

The beach once fronted the buildings along the shore, but was actually moved to make room for the new Avenida Atlantica and large underground parking lots.  The wide sidewalk next to the Avenida is paved with the classic wave pattern that was originally used in Lisbon, Portugal for pavements when rebuilding parts of the city destroyed by a massive tsunami in 1755.  The sidewalk is 2.5 kilometers long and is one of the largest mosaics in the World.  The design perfectly frames the famed arc of sand backed by the Pau d’ Acucar. You will see a lot of Olympic Coverage here this summer.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 11.15.28 PM

Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

Advertisements

Things I’ve Learned In Sao Paulo, Brazil

Things I’ve Learned In São Paulo, Brazil

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.” Roman Payne

Metropolitan São Paulo is more that 3 times the size of Moscow and 6,5 times the of
size of New York. With almost twenty million inhabitants, it is the biggest city in both Americas and the Southern hemisphere.

I guess that is why they have some really bad traffic jams.

São Paulo is inland. Los Angeles is on the ocean. They have the same air pollution.

There is coffee on almost every street corner in São Paulo. Brazilians love a coffee after lunch. (non Brazilians also at Casa Mathilde)

IMG_4562

Manhattan has many skyscrapers and tall buildings. So does São Paulo.

DSCF5497
Between the tall buildings, traffic, air pollution and coffee, I felt right at home.

Parque Ibirapuera is the city’s largest green space and one of the largest city parks in Latin America. The name means a rotten tree in the Tupi language and despite the unfortunate name there are many beautiful trees.

DSCF5496

There is plenty to do here…paths to walk or bike or people watch, museums, Niemeyer architecture, a lake, and more.

DSCF5385

It is rated as one of the best urban parks in the world.

DSCF5453

Most of the buildings are designed by Oscar Niemeyer and the landscaping is by famed landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx. (The Auditorium by Niemeyer)

DSCF5441

The opulent park is so big that you can easily forget you’re sitting in the middle of one of the most populated cities in the world.

DSCF5499

The São Paulo Museum of Modern Art (MAM) is located in the park. It was built in 1948 and modeled after the Museum of Modern Art in NY (MOMA).(lunch at MAM)

DSCF5396

It has over 4000 mostly Brazilian works of art. The commissioned mural in the front is by graffiti artist Os Gemeos.

DSCF5404

The Marquise is a large covered construction by Oscar Niemeyer that links several of the buildings together. Every day, skateboarders, cyclists, athletes, families and friends gather there.

DSCF5413

It provides a shaded paved area for young people to roller blade, roller skate and skateboard.

DSCF5422

It is very crowded on Sundays and people sell food, drinks and crafts as well.

DSCF5437

Many streets in Sao Paulo  are named for Portuguese explorers and Brazilian Revolutionaries.

Uber is banned at the moment due to protests from the taxi drivers unions. The mayor is hoping to find a middle ground that appeases both parties.

People who live in the state of São Paulo are called Paulistas. People who live in the city of São Paulo are called Paulistanos. Paulistanos love Pizza.

MASP is one of the cities best art museums.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.52.50 PM

On Sundays, the area around MASP on Avenida Paulista hosts two great outdoor markets. The space under the museum becomes a huge antiques market, and the space across the street is a handicrafts market where great street food is sold

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 5.12.53 PM

The world’s largest gay pride parade takes place here in May/June. It’s also supposedly the most expensive real estate in Latin America. The whole avenue runs along a subway line and so easily reached by public transport. (Kobra paints on Avenue Paulista)

IMG_4608

Another lovely museum in São Paulo, the Pinacoteca houses a huge collection of Brazilian art that serves as a visual story of the country’s history and cultural evolution.

DSCF5320

It is the oldest gallery in São Paulo and visited by many school children.

DSCF5327

The venerable public art museum was masterfully restored in exposed-brick style in the 1990s by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, a winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

DSCF5328
The museum has a beautiful café downstairs and is connected to Parque da Luz, a public park that includes outdoor sculptures and a European-style garden area.

DSCF5342

There are dividers between “good and “bad” parts of the city. The Pinacoteca is located across the street from the Luz train station.

IMG_5431

Estação da Luz is a beautiful 19th-century train station with high ceilings, intricate ironwork and narrow walkways  which separates the park from one of the worst drug areas in São Paulo.

DSCF5369

It is called Cracolandia or Crackland. Prostitutes line the walkways in search of customers. Crack cocaine has become a big problem in Brazil It is the second biggest crack epidemic since the US in the eighties.

DSCF5372
In the City Center, keep your eyes moving, put away your cell phone and camera. Keep your money hidden and walk with a purpose like you know what you are doing. ( just like growing up in NY)

IMG_0744

Se (cathedral) is located in the historic city center ( where the city was founded).

IMG_0739

The Neo-Gothic building took fifty years to complete because two world wars made it difficult to get materials from Italy. I have no exterior photos because see above.

IMG_4607
The Patio do Colegio was the original center of São Paulo.All that remains of the 16th-century building are the doors and a stretch of clay wall. It is now a historical museum the gardens of the museum is a pleasant café.

IMG_0756

The old center with its beautiful architecture and churches is still more homeless and drug infested than gentrified. There are a few good coffee places so change is near.

IMG_0764

Casa Mathilde is a great Portuguese bakery that serves the famous pastel de nata.

IMG_0772

I  have not been to Portugal ( where it is called pastel de Belem) but from the lines and conversations these are probably the best pastries outside of Portugal.

IMG_0770

Mocoto is located in Vila Medeiros, a neighbourhood in the north of São Paulo. Chef Rodrigo Oliveira attracts food-lovers with his distinctive take on Brazilian cuisine from the north-eastern state of Pernambuco where  his family is from. ( mocoto broth  – signature dish from original recipe, rice and beans, Brazilian dried, salted beef)

IMG_4546

IMG_4548IMG_4552

Mocotó is also a cachaçaria, selling more than 500 cachaças.

IMG_4541

Alex Atala is the chef at D.O.M. who became famous for using Brazilian ingredients in beautifully executed contemporary dishes. It is the ninth best restaurant in the world.

Gastromotiva is a Brazilian organization which uses gastronomy to promote social change for at risk students.They have a vocational education program for eighteen to thirty-five year olds who are passionate about food and cooking who’s families make below a certain income.

IMG_4681

They have also instituted a cooking program in the prisons but there is a lot of bureaucracy in Brazil when it comes to prison change.

IMG_4684

We were lucky enough to spend some time with the students and have a delicious meal cooked by students and alumni. It’s a great organization for foodies to get involved with. https://gastromotiva.org

IMG_4673

IMG_4687

São Paulo is considered one of the best cities in the world for the development of creativity in street art.

DSCF5482

The city’s streets are filled with wonderful examples of street, especially in the city center.

IMG_0789

For some of the best, visit the area Villa Magdalena, especially Beco do Batman (Batman’s Alley).

DSCF5540

DSCF5504

Vila Madalena is an artsy neighborhood with rows of pastel colored townhouses. There are nice art galleries, arts & crafts shops, bookstores and great nightlife in its restaurants, corner bars, and botecos (small bar/restaurants). Come here for samba, or just mingle with locals enjoying live music and petiscos (tapas) at the botecos.

DSCF5533
Botecos are everywhere. The doors open to the street, tiled walls and floors, a counter stocked with fried stuff, and sometimes peanuts are served. You can make a quick stop for a coxinha and a soda, or sit down for a prato feito with a bottle of cold beer. Most botecos are very simple, but there are also “modern”ones.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 7.36.09 PM

Brazil has the largest number of Japanese living outside Japan of any country in the world, and many of these Japanese Brazilians live in São Paulo. The Japanese neighborhood, called Liberdade, is a fun place to explore and see how the influence of Japan has influenced Brazilian life here and, of course, try some great food. On Sundays, an enormous market takes place in the public square of Liberdade, and thousands of people from around the city attend.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.53.46 PM
São Paulo is a huge city. I believe that you do what you can and next time I will see more. Thanks so much to our guide Arthur Simoes (who likes that painting) for his  sense of humor, energy (we had some long days), patience and knowledge of São Paulo. Obrigada until the next time.

IMG_4577

Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ

Bend It Like Niemeyer

Bend It Like Niemeyer

“Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live.” Oscar Niemeyer

I wish I could say I thought of that but I took the title from the Guardian. Maybe some of you not Brits had missed it.

One of Brazil’s greatest architects was Oscar Niemeyer who was known for his curved spaces and ramps. Beauty, spatial drama and lightness was more important to him than functionality. His use of concrete and steel was done in ways that had not been seen before. He died in 2012 at 104, a world-renowned architect, with hundreds of works in Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Niemeyer became a member of the Communist party in 1945. In 1964, when a military coup overthrew the government, Niemeyer was threatened and resettled in France and did not return to Brazil until the end of the military dictatorship in 1985. He designed the communist headquarters in Paris.

Oscar Niemeyer worked alongside Le Corbusier on the UN buildings in New York and his designs for Brasília earned the city a Unesco World Heritage status. Niemeyer received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988, the highest award in the profession, for his Cathedral of Brasília. ( not my photo)

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.09.01 PM

I am a wannabe architect and a fan of beautiful buildings and could not wait to see his structures in Brazil.
Some of Niemeyer’s most famous and recent work can be found in the city of Niterói across the bay from Rio. Niteroi has more buildings designed by him than any other city outside of Brasília where he redesigned the capital city.

The Museu de Arte Contemporanea (MAC) overlooks Guanabara Bay.

IMG_1459MAC<

The museum is a direct response to the natural topography of the bay.  The curve of the structure matches the curve of Sugarloaf.

IMG_1471

The building is the anti gallery white cube space. You can see the relationship of art, architecture and the surrounding landscape.

IMG_1454

The Theatre of Niteroi is another great example of Niemeyer style.

IMG_5294

The drawing on the front by Niemeyer is done on each individual tile.

IMG_1420

IMG_1428

The green and yellow color scheme represents Brazil’s flag.

IMG_1416

Oscar Niemeyer designed several of the buildings in Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo. Roberto Burle Marx and Otávio Agusto de Teixeira Mendes provided the park’s landscape architecture. The park opened in 1954.

IMG_4645

The Bienal was built to host a biannual art exhibition which started in 1951.

DSCF5474

São Paulo was the second city in the world after Venice to do this. A major art exhibition is held here every two years.

DSCF5379

I had seen photos of the interior before and didn’t recognize it because of the sharp contrast of the completely rectangular patterns on the outside to the flowing circular forms inside. (not my photo)

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.11.22 PM

The Marquise was also designed by Niemeyer. It’s a large, covered space that curves through the park behind the Niemeyer buildings and connects the Modern Art Museum to the playground and an outdoor restaurant. It’s used now as a place for people to relax, skate, and rollerblade.

DSCF5422

Oscar Niemeyer designed the Oca auditorium in 1951. The white domed structure is now used for traveling art exhibits. The full name is Pavilhão Lucas Nogueira Garcez, and it was built to commemorate the city’s 400th anniversary in 1951.

DSCF5388

It is called the “oca” because it resembles the traditional Native American dwelling.

DSCF5471

The interior has 4 levels, each connected by a ramp that spirals around.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 11.31.04 PM

In 2004 Niemeyer co-designed the Park’s Auditorium with the “giant red tongue”.

DSCF5441

 

DSCF5445

This futuristic building was in the original design of the park but was not built until much later.

DSCF5464

The Copan was one of Niemeyers early masterpieces. It is an imposing S-shaped building in the Centro district of São Paulo. Having studied some architecture, the Copan for me has always been a symbol of São Paulo. This is the largest residential building in Brazil, and, reportedly, the most populated single residential building in the world with room for seventy businesses on the first floor. It has its own zip code. The downtown area is a bit seedy but i’m sure with gentrification the apartments are being restored.

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 11.17.27 PM

Niemeyer went to the office everyday to work on his designs and oversee his projects till his death at 104. He believed in using architecture as a way to create a better world through better design.

Special thanks to my guides Arthur Simoes in São Paulo and Gabriel Morand in Rio for their knowledge, patience and stories about an architect that I have admired for a long time.

Tenha Uma Boa Viagem,

JAZ