- Costa, Lúcio
Cos·ta (kôsʹtə, -tä), Lúcio. 1902-1998.
Brazilian architect. Heavily influenced by Le Corbusier and by Bauhaus design, he rose to fame after his airplane-shaped plan was selected for Brasília, the new capital of Brazil, in 1957.
* * *▪ 1999Brazilian architect (b. Feb. 27, 1902, Toulon, France—d. June 13, 1998, Rio de Janeiro, Braz.), was the creator of the master plan for Brasília, the capital of Brazil, and helped to establish the modern architectural aesthetic in the country. Six years after graduating (1924) with a degree in architecture from the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, Costa was appointed director of his alma mater. Although his tenure was brief—lasting only a year—he introduced young Brazilian architects to the Modernist style, especially the Functionalism espoused by Swiss architect and urban planner Le Corbusier. In 1939 Costa invited Le Corbusier to consult with him on the design of the Ministry of Education and Health Building in Rio de Janeiro. Costa also collaborated on that project with one of his students, Oscar Niemeyer, and the pair worked together again in 1939 to design the Brazilian Pavilion for the New York World's Fair. Costa completed several noteworthy projects on his own over the next decade, among them the award-winning Eduardo Guinle Apartments (1948-54) in Rio de Janeiro. In 1957 he won an international competition with his futuristic design of Brasília, which replaced Rio de Janeiro as the government centre, and asked Niemeyer to design many of the city's major buildings. The undertaking was part of Pres. Juscelino Kubitschek's campaign to encourage Brazilian development, and Brasília, which had been an arid savanna, was constructed in only four years. The realization of Costa's plan was often likened to an airplane with a central axis for government and public buildings and wings on either side for the residential districts. Some critics, however, viewed Brasília as too sterile in character. Costa, who spent the final years of his life in Rio de Janeiro, collected and published his letters, sketches, and writings in the book Lúcio Costa: registro de uma vivência(1995), his last major project.
* * *▪ Brazilian architectborn Feb. 27, 1902, Toulon, Francedied June 13, 1998, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilFrench-born Brazilian architect best known as the creator of the master plan for Brazil's new capital at Brasília.After graduating from the National School of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro, in 1924, Costa entered into a partnership with Gregori Warchavchick, a Russian-born architect and early advocate of modern architecture in Brazil. In 1931 Costa was appointed director of the National School of Fine Arts, which included the School of Architecture. His efforts to reform the National School's outdated curriculum inspired a generation of students who subsequently became the vanguard of modernist architecture in Brazil.The Ministry of Education and Health building, Rio de Janeiro (1937–43), for which Costa received the commission, was designed by a team that included him and Oscar Niemeyer (Niemeyer, Oscar) and had the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier (Corbusier, Le) as a consultant. This structure, notable for its system of movable sun-shade louvers, was a milestone in the introduction of modern architecture into Brazil and is considered one of the finest modern structures in Latin America. Costa and Niemeyer designed the Brazilian pavilion for the New York World's Fair of 1939. Costa also admired Brazil's colonial architecture, and he was active in the National Institute for Historical and Artistic Patrimony in Rio de Janeiro, which carried out the restoration of historic buildings across the country.Costa's plan for the city of Brasília was selected in a competition held in 1956. The plan took the form of a straight line of administrative and public buildings intersected by a curved strip of residential blocks and houses. Costa's plan provides a monumental framework for the many public buildings erected by Niemeyer in Brasília.
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