Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Museu de Arte Moderna

Project Date: 1967
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date Visited: 14 December 2009

After five weeks in Curitiba, we spent a week in Rio de Janeiro before returning home to the United States just before Christmas. Though we had some business to take care of at the U.S. Consulate, we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the sights and sounds of Rio, including some of its (in)famous Modern Architecture!

On our way to Roberto Burle Marx's Parque Flamengo, we strolled past Affonso Eduardo Reidy's Museu de Arte Moderna, an iconic work of Brazilian Modern Architecture. The concrete exhibition building is lifted off the ground on large, sloped columns which support an overhanging roof, used as a sunshade to shield the glass walls from Brazil's harsh sun. Walking underneath is sort of like walking under a giant, concrete centipede!

The south facade of the main exhibition building, looking north. Downtown Rio is in the background.

Courtyard between the exhibition building and another wing of the complex.

These columns were awesome!

South facade of the main exhibition building.

Monumental, overhanging, concrete sunshade. It probably does a pretty good job keeping out Rio's torrential rains, too.

Requisite "artistic" shot of the columns.

The belly of the beast: open, cool, shaded, with an elegantly curved ceiling.

North facade of the main exhibition building. The covered walkway at the far end connects to an adjacent auditorium.


Ina said...

James, is the "uplifted belly" intended to allow breezes to pass under the building to help cool it? Or a shady place for people to rest? Both? So neat that you were able to visit such a unique building on your trip!

The Beholder said...

Ina, I think you are right that one reason to lift the building off the ground is for breezes and cooling--this is a traditional, passive way of cooling in many tropical climates. But I also think it's simply in following with Le Corbusier's rules for Modern design, i.e. lifting the building off the ground. In addition, the building is at the far North end of Flamengo Park and would serve as a big, gray, concrete wall separating the park from downtown if it weren't lifted up for people to pass under.