In 2002, as architecture students having felt the need to acquire new visual stimuli and to study in situ the buildings which we learnt about from the bibliography, we organized the first architectural trip to Berlin. Many other places were visited around the world with the participation of many colleagues and many friends (as we happily realized).
ArchiTravel was conceived as an idea during this travel. So, Brazil can be named as the birthplace of ArchiTeam!
Brazil was also the first place to visit that had no significant modern architectural interest, besides the city of Brazilia and Niemeyer’s works. For that reason a lot of non-architects joined this trip. In the end they were all delighted with the idea of architecture traveling and went back to their daily lives wealthier.
The creation of DestiNations website is an attempt to share our unique travel moments and experiences with you all. This will be our and the travelers point of view of each travel that is completed.
31 people from Greece, most of them architects, traveled for 12 days in Brazil.
In this website we will present their own point of view and perspective, through text and photos, of Brazil.
As we use to say, ArchiTravel gives the opportunity to experience the cities like no other travel guide will ever be able to do..
Architect - CEO and founder of ArchiTeam
The creation of DestiNations website is an attempt to share our unique travel moments and experiences with you all. Here is the travelers' point of view of the CHINA 2010 travel that is completed.
In this section we will present their own point of view and perspective, through text and photos, of this trip.
The photos are presented by each traveler have been shot during the trip and are copyrighted by ArchiTravel to be used only in this website.
It is prohibited to copy, modify, display, transmit, publish, transfer, sell or in any other way make available these data (or any part thereof) without our prior approval.
Brazil is definitely big. It is really hard for someone to say “I have been to Brazil” and to know exactly what he means.
Someone might have gone to Rio and walked the CopaCabana and the Ipanema, took pictures, checked out the waves, the sand, the bikinis, the strangers who fix their eyes on you waiting for your careless mistake or he might have gone to the Corcovado to pay tributes to the God of statues and enjoy the breathtaking views. Or he might have gone to the Maracana to watch a game and feel the pulse of the only true blood football tribe of the world, or even to the Sambadrome to see where the carnival takes place.
That describes pretty much all we knew about Brazil before we took the long flight to reach the country.
But when we were there…….then we realized what Brazil is all about. It is about the millions of people and the millions of stories. It is about the favellas and the absolute madness that probably only a Meditarenean can a little understand. It is about the jazz bars and the food. Oh! The food! This was one of the biggest surprises. The food and specially the red meat, probably the reddest, most delicious, most tender, most juicy, most serious, highest-quality red meat of the world. Nothing like any Brazilian restaurant anywhere else.
Another surprise? Brasilia. Surely, if one does not visit Brasilia and the see the governmental weight and emphasis and the architectural orgasm, he has probably not visited the country at all.
Lastly, we remember Sao Paolo as a giant city with tones of homeless and the upcoming true favellas. The city of no end and great diversity…again diversity. Street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood different hierarchies, different people, different gods. Synthesis? No, not at all, we can’t combine Rocinha with Ipanema, or the Sao Paolo chaos with the lego architecture of Brasilia. But still something holds it together. Maybe it is the passion for football that one can feel in the Maracana, in the favellas, at the Ipanema, at Brasilia, at the dark, narrow streets of Sao Paolo.
We have been architecture traveling for many years.
Brazil was the first place to visit that had no significant modern architectural interest, besides the city of Brazilia and Niemeyer’s works.
Rio de Janeiro is probably the city with the best geophysical location in the world. The contradiction between the sea, the coast and the natural settings is unique. We had the chance to view Copacabana and Ipanema almost empty due to the weather, experiencing the natural beauty in comparison with the blocks of high rises on the other side of the road. Whoever thinks that the giant statue of the Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain is overestimated can visit it to understand why it is one the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Watching a final game between Botafongo and Flamingo in Maracana gave every traveler an unforgettable experience of this monumental stadium.
Visiting the favelas of Rio, joining a State protected tour, one could feel the biggest contradiction in Brazil and learn how these small villages expand using their own ‘anonymous architecture’.
The Museum of Modern Art and the ‘ufo shaped’ Contemporary Art Museum gave us a first touch with the great work of Oscar Niemeyer.
Landing on Brazilia, you can see the airplane city’s shape that was planned and developed in 1956 with Lúcio Costa as the principal urban planner and Oscar Niemeyer as the principal architect. Although it is a World Heritage Site by Unesco, as an architect I felt completely out of scale.
Brazilia was an ambitious project by president Kubitschek which failed. The zoning that was applied in this city turned out to be its disaster due to the obligatory use of car for any transfer. Oscar Niemeyer has designed some of his most beautiful and pioneering buildings here, but this is not enough for a whole city to be functional.
One can say that the superquadras (The residential zones of the inner city are arranged into “superblocks”, groups of apartment buildings along with a prescribed number and type of schools, retail stores, and open spaces) are the only successful design paradigms in this use of modernist architecture on a grand scale.
We visited the famous Monumental Axis both days. On the first day there was a big fiesta celebrating the annual city anniversary. Thousands of people had filled out this colossal area having fun. On the second day a melancholic empty concrete plaza stood there, surrounded by beautiful half-empty federal district and municipal buildings.
Sao Paolo is a huge and dangerous city. Viewing the city from the top of Edificio Copan the mass of multi color skyscrapers is disappointing. Many interesting modern architecture buildings can be found in Sao Paolo, like the unique MASP, the Pinacoteca do Estado, the Museum of Sculpture and Galeria Leme by ‘Pritzker prized’ Paulo Mendes da Rocha andOscar Niemeyer’s buildings.
What was really exciting was the SESC Pompéia complex. This multi-cultural space which is funded by the union of workers and is used as a club only by them is a paradigm of social and collective effort.
It was also the first time that a lot of non-architects joined this trip. In the end they were all delighted with the idea of architecture traveling and went back to their daily lives wealthier.
This trip will be probably our favorite, not only for the above, mostly because ArchiTravel was conceived as an idea during this travel. So, Brazil can be named as the birthplace of ArchiTeam!
During its BRAZIL trip, on April 24, ArchiTeam visited the offices of IAB (Instituto Arquitectos do Brasil) in Sao Paulo.
Gilberto Belleza, the president of IAB, welcomed ArchiTeam and guided the group to the offices of the Sao Paulo branch of the “Instituto Arquitectos do Brasil”.
They both had the opportunity to discuss several issues regarding architectural practise in Brazil and Europe.
Then, Gilberto Belleza guided ArchiTeam in the center of the city of Sao Paulo, presenting many important modern architecture buildings and providing useful information.
At the end the tour ended in Edificio Copan, one of Oscar Niemeyer’s buildings which is the largest residential building in the world. The group had the chance to have a great panoramic view of Sao Paulo from the top of one of the highest buildings of the city.
Find out more about archimeetings during the Brazil Trip here:
Photos from the meeting: