MEC (Ministry of Education) is ours! The Gustavo Capanema Palace, an icon of Brazilian modernism, will be one of the headquarters of the World Congress of Architects, which will take place in Rio between July 19 and 26, 2020. Since it is going through restoration, the building will not be fully open to the public during the event. Nevertheless, areas such as the access floor and the auditorium - already renovated - will receive activities such as exhibitions, lectures and workshops during UIA2020RIO.
- Gustavo Capanema Palace is a milestone in the conception of the Rio school of modern architecture. Having this building restored by 2020 and hosting a series of activities at the World Congress of Architects is fundamental because architects from all over the world will come to Rio and will be able to see this masterpiece after the restoration. In addition to that, it is already a legacy that the Brazilian government, the IAB and the architects leave to the city’s population - emphasized Nivaldo Andrade, president of the Institute of Architects of Brazil.
Former headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Public Health, the Palace was built between 1936 and 1945 and inaugurated the following year. It is considered a landmark of modern architecture in Brazil. Its conception was a result of the cooperation of names such as Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Carlos Leão, Ernany de Vasconcelos and Jorge Machado Moreira, and Le Corbusier as a consultant. As the first public building in Brazil with the main characteristics of modern architecture, such as the use of pilotis, free floor plan, garden terrace, free facade and ribbon windows, Gustavo Capanema Palace also brought together great names of the arts and landscaping such as Burle Marx, Cândido Portinari, Bruno Giorgi, Adriana Janacópulus, Celso Antônio and Jacques Lipchitz.
Since 2014, the building has undergone major renovations. One of the most important steps - the complete restoration of its facades - has just been delivered. This will restore the integrity of one of the main features of the building. To the north, you can see again the original blue tone of the brises soleils, called “Lucio Costa blue”. The building, by the way, was the first public building to use on a large scale the system - then innovative - created by Le Corbusier to control solar incidence and ventilation. Gustavo Capanema was also one of the first skyscrapers built in the world with curtain wall - glazed facade, adequately oriented to receive less exposure to the sun.
Since the beginning of the intervention, R$ 28 million have already been invested, with actions such as the restoration of pilotis stone coverings, waterproofing of the garden terrace and the covering of the auditorium block; modernization of elevators; replacement of noble frames and coating of some floors and the ceiling of the pilotis. A next stage of the restoration will also be announced then, with a 30-month schedule from its inception. In it, there will be carried out the restoration, conservation and modernization of all the internal areas of the building, encompassing all the infrastructure; fire detection and firefighting system; air-conditioning system; modernization of auditoriums; conservation of ground-level gardens; and restoration of all the wooden furniture and Portinari's tile panels.
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