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The Spirit of Brasília: Modernity as Experiment and Risk

from Brazil: Body & Soul

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


James Holston provides a critique of the experimental capital, Brasília, built out of necessity in only three and a half years in the late 1950s. Holston analyzes the city's improvisations and innovations in both its architecture and design, evaluating the success and potential entombment of its urban structure. 
Brasília's Modernism signified Brazil's emergence as a modern nation because it simultaneously broke with the colonial legacies of underdevelopment as it posited an industrial modernity. The new architecture and planning attacked the styles of the past—the Iberian Baroque and the Neoclassical—that constituted one of the most visible symbols of a legacy the government sought to supersede. Literally, Modernism stripped these styles from building facades and city plans, demanding instead industrial-age building materials and an industrial aesthetic appropriate to "the new age." In planning, it privileged the automobile and the aesthetic of speed at a time when Brazil was embarking on a program of industrialization especially focused on the automobile industry. It also required centralized planning and the exercise of state power that appealed to the statist interests of the political elite.

The Spirit of Brasília: Modernity as Experiment and Risk
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  • $1.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Art & Architecture
  • Published: Dec 01, 2011
  • Publisher: Guggenheim Museum
  • Seller: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • Print Length: 18 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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