perfection, brasilia april 2006

"plastics, ben, plastics".


edifício morro vermelho, brasilia

architect joão filgueiras lima, called lelé


brazilian modernism cannot be reduced to two or three famous names, there is so much talent around. three near-identical towers in brasilia show the hand of a master, this is one of them.


late modernism, c. 1980, dealing beautifully with the issues of climate in plastics, fibreglass and concrete. detailing and surfaces nothing short of perfect.


standing in front of a house like this, it becomes very difficult to remember exactly what postmodernism rebelled against.


more of the same:

  • Paolo Margari 8y

    why blaming modernism? that's such a good example! vert good shot!!
  • seier+seier 8y

    thanks, paolo!
  • Alexandre Fergo 8y

    Mais uma bela imagem. Belo grafismo conseguido com os pré-moldados de lelé.
  • seier+seier 8y

    thanks, alexandre! I think I understood that.
  • seier+seier 8y

  • Leandro Discaciate 7y

    Que foto maravilhosa.
  • seier+seier 7y

    thanks, discaciate!
  • stuinmcr 7y

    What a beautiful piece of architecture! Simple, functional and elegant.
  • seier+seier 7y

    and so well built, it seemed. great finish everywhere.
  • J Mark Dodds 7y

    That's good

    Reminds me of this:


    which was not as long lasting
  • seier+seier 7y

    you know, that is a very good observation: the facade is like a coffered concrete ceiling. what happened to the place in your photo?
  • superka_01 7y

  • seier+seier 7y

    indeed, superka!
  • Matthew-1 7y

    I thought your comment regarding postmodernism was funny and interesting (and perhaps true to some extent), but surely that movement reacted against the banality of so much modern architecture.
    Obviously it failed but it did bring back to architectural practice and theory a new sensitivity to context, history, and urban design.
    I've not been lucky enough to visit a modern masterplanned city like Brasilia or Chandigar, but I've heard that being based on the automobile rather than the pedestrian they lack the grace that is present in an historical city.
    In my mind modernism is also associated with the metropolis or even megalopolis - the urban environments of modern man which are of a scale almost unknown in history. Obviously the pedestrian - an individual person - is not the unit around which a modern metrpolis is currently planned, rather it seems to be shaped by global trade and economics.
    In this sense modernism - modern man - is missing in architecture that scale related to his body. I think that is what postmodernism may have been trying to address.
  • seier+seier 7y

    "true to some extent" is the best I can do ;)

    my (not very amazing) point was that the best of modernism already contained the sensitivity to context, history, the city, human scale etc that postmodernism supposedly brought back.

    there is plenty of failed modernism around and also quite depressing amounts of failed postmodernism...

    many of the problems that architecture cannot address in a satisfactory way seem to stem from issues of ownership (for example, the complex ownership of a traditional city where you may own one floor of a house compared with the suburban ownership of individual plots); issues of planning (not least political fear of deterring investors); and last but not least: size, the fact that the companies we work for, the investments, the programmes, keep getting bigger - and have done so throughout the 20th century

    now, brasilia is a strange place. it is indeed planned around the car (or similar transport) but no more so than any north american suburb.

    the particular sector in which lele´s office buildings are found is in fact very sensitive to pedestrian traffic. the tall buildings are placed closely together for shade (I suppose), there is plenty of green between them, and you can pass through the buildings so that you engage with them rather than experience them as objects (I think there is a bookshop in this one).

    we were there around lunch and people flooded out of the offices to buy fruit and lunch in the street. it seemed to work quite well.

    maybe the biggest problem in brasilia as in the rest of brazil is the government's inability to deal with poverty and the immense social problems - not least crime - that follows. again, issues that lie outside the traditional bounderies of architecture.
  • Eder Saos 6y

    Gostei muito disso.
  • agustín infante 3y

    did you know lelé worked with lina bo bardi in some projects?
    i think he did the design of this formwork:
  • seier+seier 3y

    I did not know that, thank you for the information. I love these personal connections. and lina bo bardi's buildings in salvador...I don't have words for them. I would love to visit them, though.
  • Kamila Mendonça 2y

    Gosto muitíssimo dessa foto e dessa arquitetura!
    Sou nova por aqui... como faço pra usar a imagem no texto da minha tese e atribuir os créditos corretamente?
  • seier+seier 2y

    yes yes, go ahead!
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