October 11, 2010

Rio - Part 2 - The Architecture

First off, work from Oscar Niemeyer - the architect that I went to study.
The futuristic Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi.
The MAC with Suger Loaf in the background.

The ramps leading to the entrance.

View from a nearby beach.

The Ministry of Culture and Education in downtown Rio - primarily Le Corbusier's design but with significant imput from Niemeyer and Costa.  (the building is not really that curvy looking - blame Photoshops stitching software)

Niemeyer's 1953 house in the Canoas.  Carved straight out of the Atlantic rainforest.

It was built upon a huge boulder that goes from pool to the inside of the house.

We took a tour of two of Rio's favelas - or slums.  A bit of background: In a normal Brazilian city your working class neighborhoods will be located on the outskirts of a city where land in cheap and not desired (the opposite of the American suburb model).  In Rio the mountains in the heart of the city provide the undesirable land that the lower class has commandeered.  These working class slums are for the most part a parallel society – meaning that law and order is given by drug cartels not the Rio police.  Click here to read more. 

The tours were handled really well – we got to see Rocinha (the biggest one) and a smaller one that was controlled by the police.  Our guide was adamant to point out that the majority of the people living in them are hard working and that their standard of living is not really all that bad.  The main problems that arise are related to plumbing and electrical infrastructure, to youth being recruited by the drug cartels, and the occasional violence that erupts between the drug cartels and the police.

A panoramic of Rocinha.

A playground.

A sample of the wiring.

It was like decending through an Escher drawing.

 And to conclude the architecture portion of our tour we have a really cool sand castle on Copacabana's beach.

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