The Pink Building: Heritage, Memory and Archicteture

By MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The Pink Building at Liberty Square, headquarters of the Museum, was inaugurated in 1897, together with Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, which was born with republican airs in the early 19th century. Building of emblematic value for Belo Horizonte, the building is in the memory of the city and its people, as well as the Liberty Square, built to house power, and which has become a meeting place for the Belo Horizonte people. Listed by the State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iepha/MG), the building underwent meticulous restoration work and the architectural project for the new purpose of the Pink Building, which was once the  Interior and Education Secretary, was made by Paulo Mendes da Rocha .Get to know, through this exhibition, the history of the Pink Building, which intersects with the memories of the capital and its people through stunning architecture!

Construction of the Pink Building (Century 19th) by Raimundo Alves CorreiaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The History of the Pink Building
Great financial resources, immeasurable raw materials and a large number of workers were committed in the construction of Belo Horizonte. Nevertheless, beyond such subsidies, what was crystallized in the streets, avenues, squares and buildings of the newly opened New Capital of the State of Minas Gerais, on December 12, 1897, was the longing for modernity, the spirit of that time. Such desire was fueled by science and technique, as well as imbued with the positivist ideology, the flagship of the First Republic. The countless components that trace history are present in Liberty Square, as well as in the Pink Building, whose constructions date from the foundation of the city. This collection presents elements as signs of the project of a society that emerged at the end of the 19th century. Over 120 years of existence, both Liberty Square and the Pink Building have followed suit the city's social and cultural transformations, pictured here by the evolution of  the “neoclassical and eclectic architecture styles, from the turn of the 19th century, to the postmodern”.

The building that would house the State-Secretary of the Interior, known as the Pink Building, was inaugurated with Belo Horizonte, a city planned to be the new Capital of Minas Gerais, in 1897.

Liberty Square and the Pink Building, MM Gerdau Collection, Century 20th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

At the highest point, in the
central area of the New Capital, the State-
administrative Headquarters were set: a
square named Liberty, surrounded by
sumptuous neoclassical buildings.

Side of the Pink Building (Century 20th) by -MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The New Capital has had
electricity services since its inauguration, in
1897. The public lighting aimed to indicate
aspects of modernity and new urban codes
for social life.

Postcard of the Liberty Square, Eduardo Oliveira Costa, Century 20th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

The suppression of original
rocailles from the English-style gardens, and
the adoption of a new and more modern
landscape style, reinforced the ideal of
progress and modernity of the city.

Facade of Pink Building (Century 20th) by Gine Gea RiberaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The architecture of the New
Capital represented the desire to break
apart with the country’s colonial past.
Imposing public buildings symbolized the
new era of the Republic.

Aerial view of Belo Horizonte city (Century 20th) by MM Gerdau CollectionMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Liberty Square in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais, Brazil

Site-specific for political and artistics manifestations, Liberty Square hadits architectural and landscaping listed ashistorical, artistic and cultural heritage ofMinas Gerais, in 1977.

Main facade of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The Pink Building
The front facade of the Pink Building presents important elements of the neoclassical architecture style, symbolizing the rational, technical, organized and empowered State, which stand for the premises of the republican project. The columns framed by arches were built within blocks of dolomite. It corresponds toone of the main structural-systems everbuilt, and refers to the ancient buildings of the Roman Empire. The geometric precision of the semidome stands for rationality, science and technique. The triangular pediment of the front facade remains to the Greco-Roman architecture style. Its geometric shape represents balance and stability.

Semidome of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Eduardo FrancischelliMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Initially designed to house the State-
Secretary of the Interior, from the 1930s
onwards, the Pink Building housed, for
longer than 70 years, the Education State-
Secretary.

The Effigy of the Republic (Marianne),
inserted within the pediment in a broken
arch, also sheltered by the semidome,
denotes the public nature of the building and
the French influence during the First
Brazilian Republic.

Frontal porch (Century 21th) by Eduardo FrancischelliMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The Corinthian-order, and its exuberant
ornaments in the upper part of the columns -
which are here decorated with delicate
acanthus’ leaves -, characterize some of the classical elements of the building.

Front porch of the Pink Building, Jomar Bragança, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

With a view to Liberty Square, the balcony of the Salão Nobre (Noble Hall) presents a set of columns of classical influence, painted in marbling technique.

Main facade of the Pink Building, Leonardo Miranda, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

The restored facades maintained
the same painting techniques as the original
building. Painting was developed using lime
and iron oxide mineral pigments, and
applied with brooches and brushes.

Triangular pediment (Century 21th) by Eduardo FrancischelliMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The triangular pediment was
widely used within the neoclassical
architecture style. It aimed to represent the
symmetry and balance between forms, as
well as technical rationality.

Detail of porch with cast iron railing. (Century 21th) by Eduardo FrancischelliMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Elements and structures made of
cast iron have been widely spread within the
neoclassical building-style. At that time, the
use of industrialized materials corresponded
to the aspirations of modernity.

Detail of the front porch of Pink Building (Century 21th) by Eduardo FrancischelliMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The geometry of the neoclassical
volumes was mathematically built. The front
porch, advanced in relation to the facade,
stands for hierarchy, and indicates the
importance of its subsequent internal

Liberty Square, and its surrounding
buildings, gather together harmonic and
symmetrical ensembles. The forms and
volumes of the garden stand for the capacity
to build new landscapes, in addition to the
aspiration to dominate nature.

Perspective's angle of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The architectural intervention in the Pink Building
From the 1970s onwards, Belo Horizonte's urbanization process was intensified in time and space. The city experiences a greater heterogeneity of inhabitants and culture within its streets. The society, into rapidly changing processes, incorporates new materials, new technologies and new ideologies in the production of urban spaces. Concomitant and intertwined with such a process, new architectural languages transform and modify the metropolis, in some cases dismantling what is solid, and in others, preserving the identity of the past, always giving new meanings to the present.The architectural intervention designed by Paulo and Pedro Mendes da Rocha set new values, meanings and use to the Pink Building. In 2010, the heritage building, referenced in the Cultural Inventory of Minas Gerais, received new volumes of glass and steel to house the MM Gerdau - Mines and Metal Museum, which adapted its settlement to current standards of accessibility and safety, as well as defined new circulation environments. The differentiation between new and old architectural elements is quickly perceived, however harmonious and bland. New elements dialogue and respect the historic construction, due to the fact that steel and glass provide lightness, transparency and plasticity to both structures.

In 2010, the State-administrative Headquarters moved out from Liberty Square. Therefore, its neoclassical buildings assume new architectural uses, and the Pink Building gains a contemporary design.

Perspective's angle of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

From the outside, the combination of
historical and contemporary architectural
elements is established through the
insertion of new volumes, made of glass
and steel frames, to the preserved classical
facades.

Partial view of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Interventions details
The new architecturalinterventions are concentrated at the rear ofthe building, and are evidenced by the redsteel and glass uses.

A new “U” shaped red top floor fulfills an
existing void within the building and its original
blocks. A gallery is then created to link the
exhibition halls set alongside the
neoclassical building.

Back facade of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

The contemporary architectural
interventions maintain alive and visible the
original neoclassical memoirs. Two of the
contemporary new volumes hold staircases
and a vertical lift. The third holds a new top
floor.

Back facade of the Pink Building, Jomar Bragança, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

The structural and
constructive systems, as well as the steel
and glass frames, set clear the temporal
differences within the building.

Back facade of the Pink Building (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

A new vertical circulation,
designed to significantly increase the
museum audiences, was added to the rear
block of the Pink Building.

Back facade of the Pink Building, Jomar Bragança, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

Built in metal frame and glass
closure independent systems, the volume
composes an important contemporary
element, in addition to the neoclassical
building.

Pink Building Terrace, Eduardo Francischelli, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

The contemporary architectural
interventions give way to new environments
and spaces, within them the outdoor
exhibition terrace - which offers an enlarged
top view of Liberty Square and Belo
Horizonte.

Pink Building Roof (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Cover Systems of the Pink Building's Roof

The facade’s semidome is coveredby zinc panels. The remaining front block iscovered by French ceramic tiles, part ofthem still original from Marseiille. The different materials usedwithin the roof systems are also a timemarker of the building. It indicates thetechnical, scientific and aesthetic changes,which took place within its different construction periods. The inner courtyard, transformedinto a large meeting area, after the 2010’sintervention, is sheltered by a zenith steeland glass frame coverage. The othercontemporary blocks use red steel frameroof structures, setting clear past andpresent arrangements.

Pink Building Roof, Jomar Bragança, Century 21th, From the collection of: MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal
Show lessRead more

The interventions reveal different possibilities of harmonious dialogues, established between past and present. The sequence of sectioned pyramids on the roof extends and reinterprets the stained glass modulation.

Pink Building Roof (Century 21th) by Jomar BragançaMM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal

Credits: Story

Realization: MM Gerdau - Museum of Mines and Metal
Sponsorship: Gerdau
Support: CBMM
Direction: Márcia Guimarães
Curatorship of Geosciences: Andrea Ferreira
Museology Coordination: Carlos Jotta
Communication Coordination: Paola Oliveira
Educational Coordination: Suely Monteiro
TIC Cordination: Alexandre Livino
Curator of the "The Pink Building: heritage, memory and archicteture": Carlos Jotta, David Bruno, Guilherme Borges, Lucas D'Ambrósio, Luciana Miglio, Márcia Guimarães, Mateus Nogueira, Paola Oliveira and Suely Monteiro. Research and texts: David Bruno, Guilherme Borges, Suely Monteiro Translation: Lucas D'Ambrósio, Luciana Miglio and Paola Oliveira.
Photographs: Eduardo Francischelli, Eduardo Oliveira Costa, Gine Gea Ribera, Jomar Bragança, Leonardo Miranda e Raimundo Alves Correia.

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.
Google apps