In the very heart of Brazil lies Brasília, capital of the Federation since 1960, planned according to Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer's avant-garde modernist vision. The city is known worldwide for its bold and unique layout, to this day it still looks as if Brasília came out of a futuristic sci-fi movie or a Moebius comic book. Wide roads cross it from north to south, east to west as edifications are thoroughly laid out in organized and cartesian manner along the wide avenues and the sea of green present all over town.
Now only in its 50's, Brasília presents a rare opportunity for pioneer ventures in many areas. As I like to put it, this might be the 'biggest small city in the world'! It definitely blew way bigger in the last two decades, but you still get that small town feel in many areas, both in the city and in the surroundings.
The city is conceptually a 'garden city'. Described that way by Lúcio Costa himself in essay submitted to the 'New Capital Blueprint Contest', initiative which called out for urbanists and architects all over Brazil to develop plans for the new city, pitching for the golden opportunity of projecting Brazil's new political center from scratch. Lúcio Costa poetically described his idea of a capital in a few pages, barely putting pencil to paper to 'draw his thoughts' across. In the report he goes about the reasons he chose the solutions he did and how the city was supposed to function in his conception. Not surprisingly, most of those theoretical solutions came to reality, witnessed by many like myself, specially in Brasília's early years.
Many don't get the city and its eccentric ways, but most of these people (if not 100%) never had the chance of reading Costa's brilliant report, document that has been relegated to fade in history, as it's not part either of the elementary, middle or high-schools' subject content in Distrito Federal. Unfortunately I've not been able to locate a translation to english yet, so for now you'll have to know a little Portuguese to dig into that! Anyways, it is amazing to compare the conceptual idea and the actual reality of the city as it evolves. How the plan is coming to fruition in all its organically created detours. Even though the document cannot hide or correct 2013 Brasília's flaws, it gives you a sense of how things were intended to work and that the difficult task of conceiving a whole city at once was well addressed by Costa. I guess it is easier to pick which is the best way to go when you know where you're coming from…
Modernist buildings defying gravity in concrete swagger, peppered throughout an ever present sea of green. A quick way to summarize Brasília's atmosphere and why it is the perfect location for JETTo to operate. :) Hope you all have an opportunity to come visit good and old BsB some time!
Brasília's plan, early days and its visionairies:
1. First city plan sketches; 2. Rough city blueprint; 3. Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa; 4. President Juscelino Kubitcheck at the construction; 5. Alvorada Palace – the Presidential residence; 6. Congress building; 7. Supreme Court; 8. Eixo Monumental Avenue; 9. President Juscelino Kubitcheck – Brasília in its early days.