Ministry of Education - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Posted by: saopaulo1
S 22° 54.572 W 043° 10.418
23K E 687315 N 7465332
Quick Description: Former building of the Ministry of Education and culture when Rio was Brazil's capital.
Date Posted: 6/8/2008 4:21:17 PM
Waymark Code: WM3Z2Y
"Construction started in 1939 and was completed in 1943, to house the new Ministry of Education and Health of Brazil (later split into separate ministries of Education, Culture and Health). Therefore, it is sometimes referred as Ministério da Educação e Saúde Pública or MESP. In 1960 the national capital was moved to Brasília and the building was kept as an office for the ministry in Rio, which remains to nowadays. It is still regarded as a fine example of bold modernist architecture.
The official address of the Palace is Rua da Imprensa, 16, Centro - Rio de Janeiro, RJ.
The building is named after author and pedagogist Gustavo Capanema, who was the first Minister of Education of Brazil. The name Capanema itself means "unfertile grass" in Old Tupi. It is located in the downtown Rio area of Castelo, where until 1903 there was a hill (Morro do Castelo), then demolished. Delighted with the shape of the Guanabara Bay, Corbusier suggested that the building should be located next to the sea, instead of inner downtown, but the government declined.
The project was extremely bold for the time. It was the first government modernist building in the Americas, and of a much larger scale than anything Le Corbusier had built until then. Completed in 1943, the building which housed the regulator and manager of Brazilian culture and cultural heritage developed all the elements of what was to become recognised as Brazilian modernist movement: it employed local materials and techniques, like the azulejos linked to the Portuguese tradition; the revolutionised Corbusian brises-soleil, made adjustable and related to the Moorish shading devices of colonial architecture; bold colours; the tropical gardens of Roberto Burle Marx; the Imperial Palm (roystonea oleraceæ), known as the Brazilian order; further allusions to the icons of the Brazilian landscape; and the integrated, specially commissioned works of Brazilian artists." (visit link