Art and Architecture in the Chamber of Deputies

Chamber of Deputies, Brazil

The National Congress’ façade impresses because of its plasticity and beauty, and is considered one of the great moments of the world's modern architecture. However, it is the inside of the building, with its large open spaces furnished with great attention to detail that translates the ideal modern aesthetics of a governmental building.
Inside a Palace
The short time available for the construction of the building did not compromise the achievement of a remarkable integration between Art and Architecture, through a carefully planned policy of acquisition and design of furniture and works of art tailored to enhance the dignified beauty of the headquarters of the Brazilian parliament in Brasília – icon city of modern architecture. 
With an attentive eye to the details of the building, which he considered his most beloved work, Oscar Niemeyer invited several prominent Brazilian artists to contribute to the advancement of his project. Great names of the artistic scene of the time, such as Di Cavalcanti, Alfredo Cheschiatti and Marianne Peretti, created masterpieces especially for the National Congress
Athos Bulcão
Athos Bulcão, the artist most closely identified with the aesthetics of the new capital, designed several panels made of marble, ceramic tile or painted wood which, installed throughout the building, bear witness to the masterful artistic elements at work enhancing the architectural elements.
For a building that would represent a modern Brazil, it was necessary to search for – and in some cases design – furniture with the same high standards and modernity. The furnishings of the National Congress Building represent a very particular sample of the twentieth century decorative arts and its aesthetics, both in Brazil and internationally. The collection reflects the harmonious dialogue between the international exponents that served as a reference in the consolidation of modern design in the world, and the Brazilian designers which brought a genuine national look to what was being produced.
Brazilian Modern
With pure lines free from the ornaments that characterized previous styles, mid-century furnishing favours, as a rule, the use of straightforward industrial materials such as steel and aluminium, suitable for mass production. In Brazil, however, the production relies heavily in the use of wood, a raw material that is abundant in our country. Cane weave, a technique well adapted to the intense heat in our country, which is directly linked to our colonial past, is also frequently used.
From this dialogue arose the rich diversity that can be observed in the main salons of the National Congress Building, fitted according to the orientations of the original projects of Oscar Niemeyer, with works by Sergio Rodrigues, Jean Gillon, George Nelson, Florence Knoll, Charles Pollock, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Le Corbusier, Oscar and Anna Maria Niemeyer, Charles and Ray Eames and George Zalszupin.
Credits: Story


Cultural Center of the Chamber of Deputies: Museum Section

Institutional Photography Section
Rui Faquini

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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