Brazil Architecture


The architecture of a country is defined, to an enormous degree, by its history and heritage. On the other hand, the architecture also forms a major part of the character and identity of a destination. Therefore, exploring the architecture of a country reveals much about it, and remains a very important part of tourism.

Brazil was colonised by Portuguese explorers centuries ago, and this culture has continued to influence the look and feel of this country. Today, there remain a few examples of this Portuguese architecture of yesteryear. These colonial-style buildings give the country a really charming element.

However, the modernist approach is still the overriding architectural style of Brazil. This style is characterised by minimalism and the absence of excess frill or decoration. It is simple, with clean lines and a functional form.

Old houses in the historic center of Salvador


This particular type of architecture was adopted after World War Two, when function took precedence over form. Oscar Niemeyer remains one of the world’s best known modernist architects, and certainly left a very clear imprint on the architecture of Brazil.

Other well-known Brazilian architects, not necessarily following a modernist approach to their design, include Mendes da Rocha, Ruy Ohtake and Jaime Lerner.

Travellers that have a particular interest in architecture are invited to see the wonders of Brazil. They will be treated, not only to modernist examples of design and structure, but also to baroque and neoclassical influences. For these ones, the best cities to see are Salvador (the colonial capital that boasts stunning examples of the classic Portuguese style from long ago); Olinda and Minas Gerais (built during the 19th century, these areas are characterised by a distinct Baroque style); and Rio's Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Belem's Teatro da Paz, and Manuas' Teatro Amazonas (for the neoclassical look and feel).

Some of the most beautiful monuments in terms of their fascinating architecture include:

• The National Congress of Brazil (Oscar Niemeyer) – this building is all about balance and equality.

• The Brazilian Museum of Sculpture (Paulo Mendes da Rocha) – a work of true imagination.
• The Palacio da Alvorada (Oscar Niemeyer) – this building is elegant and progressive, the perfect place to host and entertain dignitaries.
• Brazil’s Civic Square (Burle Max) – this is an innovative structure that is somewhat symbolic.
• The Rio De Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (Afonso Reidy) – see concrete and formed metal combine in a hub of design contrasts.
• The Theatre in Ibirapuera Park (Oscar Niemeyer) – this theatre demonstrates Niemeyer’s dedication to peace and progress.
• The SESC Pompeia Cultural Centre (Lina Bo Bardi) – the architecture of this centre is unique and combines natural wood with postmodern concrete and plenty of colour.