Tag Archives: architecture

The Leap

Afraid of chances, keen on changes
Changes that challenge, churning chasms
To choose to try: chills in the spine
Choking but hoping a new life to find

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Look out

With a greater concern over the latest trend rather than what History bequeathed, Brazilian cities are spaces where all kinds of architectural influences can be found.

Nowhere can this be seen more readily than in Rio. The former capital and once most important city in South America, the city is home to a myriad of styles, influences, tastes and ideas, all cramped together – sometimes side by side.

From organic shapes and historical Brazilian Baroque to monstrous concrete blocks and wholly inappropriate glass buildings, Rio is a surprising treat on the eye of the curious.

Some of my favorite :

It is so relieving when one learns to appreciate what’s not obvious – life does become more beautiful when one finds beauty where one least expects it.

Rio de Janeiro is a great school for that.

Learn from examples

Isn’t it great when city authorities decide to make life more agreeable for its citizens?

Although very few of the Brazilian ones are taking any kind of initiative in that respect, progress can be seen here and there. Still, it is nothing as grand as what was done in Seoul, South Korea, with regards to the Cheonggyecheon river.

After years locked up inside a tomb of concrete, the stream was quite recently set free and transformed into a lovely green space and recreation area in the middle of the city.

This idea is so worthy of praise I am not sure I have to words to describe my admiration.

What strikes me the most is the way the riverbanks were given life when vegetation was (apparently) let grow in its own way.

It is high time people try to interfere with nature’s course just because we live in big cities. As the volcano in Iceland has yet again shown, we are completely at the mercy of the planet’s natural forces.

Maybe we should start from there.

Geometrical architectural

Right this moment, there is a combination in Paris which can mesmerize even the most demanding beauty lover: the Fondation Cartier‘s exhibition on Beatriz Milhazes, the geometrical color-loving painter from Brazil.

Ice Grape, by Beatriz MilhazesThe eye-catching expression of joy translated in bright circles and intersections of geometrical figures suits the Jean Nouvel museum just perfectly. The simplicity of the museum’s glass exterior and its gentle take on reflection function like an aquarium for Milhazes’ works: the art is contained yet beautifully shown in a very large scale.

Beatriz is one of the only Brazilian artists working these days who seem to be able to express Brazilianness through a medium that is not music. She has said that she wishes to combine all influence she’s taken in all through her life, be it art from her own country, from Latin America or even Portuguese barroque, and make it her own visual translation of painting. Appropriating multiple influences and transforming them into something new is a very Brazilian characteristic.

Convergingly, Jean Nouvel’s remarkable creations that make us rethink architecture integration are a fresh breeze into the building era’s air. Two of my favorite buildings in Paris (namely the Fondation Cartier building and the Institut du Monde Arabe) integrate so well with their surroundings and yet have a clear identity connected to their purpose that it is just impossible not to appreciate them.

For those who want to delight in color, shape & architecture, this exhibition is the place to be in Paris. It’s on until June 21, so there’s quite some time for you to shun the clichés of Paris and still have a great aesthetic time.