Brazil Inside Out - The South
About The South
Curitiba, in the southern state of Paraná, has trebled in size in just 25 years and now has a population of 1.6 million.
The city's design, drawn up in 1965, outlined innovative environmental policies and architecture for Curitiba, and still inspires city planners around the world today.
Its bus system is second to none, with tube-shaped stations designed to protect passengers from the weather and special access facilities for the disabled.
Oscar Niemeyer is an architecture legend. He's responsible for the stunning buildings of Brasilia, Brazil's capital city, for Rio's Sambodrome, where the Carnival takes place, and the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Presenter Alex Bellos catches up with the 95-year-old architect to talk about his latest project: a futuristic building for the art museum, the NovoMuseu, in Curitiba.
OSCAR NIEMEYER, Architect:
You start with a piece of paper: 'I'm going to do a museum'. I know the land, I know the surrounding area, I have an idea in my head. I start to search, design a shape that pleases me.
For me, the most important thing in architecture is to shock, especially with the more ambitious buildings. The most important element in any work of art is to surprise, to startle. The person arrives and sees something different. If you go to Brasilia, you may or may not like the palaces, but you can't say you've ever seen anything like it before. You've never seen a palace like the Congress building. Nor a church like Brasilia's. For me, this is what architecture is about.