Pampulha Modern Ensemble

Pampulha Modern Ensemble

The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was the centre of a visionary garden city project created in 1940 at Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. Designed around an artificial lake, this cultural and leisure centre included a casino, a ballroom, the Golf Yacht Club and the São Francisco de Assis church. The buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with innovative artists. The Ensemble comprises bold forms that exploit the plastic potential of concrete, while fusing architecture, landscape design, sculpture and painting into a harmonious whole. It reflects the influence of local traditions, the Brazilian climate and natural surroundings on the principles of modern architecture.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ensemble moderne de Pampulha

L’Ensemble moderne de Pampulha a été le centre d’un projet visionnaire de cité-jardin créé en 1940 à Belo Horizonte, capitale de l’état du Minas Gerais. Conçu autour d’un lac artificiel, ce centre culturel et de loisirs se composait d’un casino, d’une salle de bal, d’un Golf & Yacht Club et de l’église São Francisco de Assis. Les bâtiments ont été conçus par l’architecte Oscar Niemeyer, en collaboration avec des artistes novateurs. L’Ensemble présente des formes audacieuses qui exploitent les propriétés plastiques du béton et tout en fusionnant l’architecture, le paysagisme, la sculpture et la peinture – pour créer un tout harmonieux. Il témoigne de l’influence des traditions locales, du climat et de l’environnement naturel brésiliens sur les principes de l’architecture moderne. 

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

مجمع بامبولها الحديث
كان هذا الموقع مركز مشروع حضري لمدينة حدائق أنشئت عام 1940 في مدينة بيلو هوريزونتي، عاصمة ولاية ميناس جرايس. وتتمحور الفكرة حول بحيرة اصطناعيّة. ويتألف هذا المركز الثقافي والترفيهي من كازينو وقاعة حفلات ونادي للغولف بالإضافة إلى كنيسة القديس فرنسيس الأسيزي. هذا وتم تصميم جميع المباني على يد المهندس المعماري أوسكار نيماير بالتعاون مع مجموعة من الفنانين البحريّين. ويجسّد هذا الموقع مجموعة من التصاميم البلاستيكيّة والباطونيّة الجريئة والتي تجمع بين أشكال فنية ومعمارية مختلفة بألوان متنوّعة من أجل إنشاء مجموعة متناغمة. كما يشهد هذا الموقع على تأثير التقاليد المحليّة والمناخ والبيئة في البرازيل على مبادئ العمارة المعاصرة.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Комплекс Пампулья в стиле модерн
Комплекс Пампулья в стиле модерн был главным элементом новаторского проекта по строительству города-сада. Проект был реализован в 1940 году в Белу-Оризонти – столице штата Минас-Жерайс. На территории этого культурно-развлекательного центра, возведённого вокруг искусственного озера, расположены казино, танцевальный зал, гольф- и яхт-клуб, а также церковь Сан-Франсиску Ди Асис. Все эти сооружения были спроектированы архитектором Оскаром Нимейером, сотрудничавшим с художниками авангарда. В этом комплексе нашли отражение смелые архитектурные решения, использование пластических свойств бетона и синтез различных видов искусства – архитектуры, ландшафтного дизайна, скульптуры и живописи – в целях создания гармоничного целого. Этот архитектурный памятник свидетельствует о влиянии местных традиций, климата и природной среды Бразилии на принципы современной архитектуры.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Conjunto arquitectónico moderno de Pampulha
El conjunto arquitectónico de Pampulha fue el centro de un proyecto urbanístico visionario de ciudad-jardín realizado en 1940 en la ciudad de Belo Horizonte, capital del estado brasileño de Minas Gerais. Planeado en torno a un lago artificial, ese centro de carácter cultural y recreativo comprendía un casino, una sala de baile, el Yate Golf Club y la iglesia de San Francisco de Asís. Todos sus edificios fueron diseñados por el arquitecto Oscar Niemeyer, en colaboración con diversos artistas innovadores. La explotación de las propiedades plásticas del hormigón y la fusión de diversas artes –arquitectura, escultura, pintura y paisajismo– dieron lugar a la creación de construcciones de formas audaces que se integran en un conjunto armónico. El sitio constituye además un testimonio de la influencia del clima, el medio ambiente y las tradiciones del Brasil en los principios de la arquitectura moderna.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

パンプーリャ近代建築群
リオ出身の名建築家が手がけた近代建築群。ミナスジェライス州の州都、ベロオリゾンテに1940年に創られた庭園都市プロジェクトの中心地。人工湖の周囲に設計された文化娯楽施設の近代建築群は、革新的芸術家と協働してオスカー・ニーマイヤーが設計を手掛けた。カジノやダンスホール、ゴルフクラブやヨットクラブ、教会などの建造物は、コンクリートの可塑能力を引き出す一方、建築、景観デザイン、彫刻、絵画を調和のとれた統一体として融合している。同時に、近代建築の原則に基づき、地元の伝統や気候、自然環境が反映されている。

source: NFUAJ

Pampulha Modern Ensemble

Het Pampulha Modern Ensemble was het middelpunt van een visionair stadstuinproject dat in 1940 werd gemaakt in Belo Horizonte, de hoofdstad van de Braziliaanse deelstaat Minas Gerais. Het ontwerp van architect Oscar Niemeyer, die hiervoor samenwerkte met vernieuwende kunstenaars, bevat onder meer een casino, een danszaal, de Golf Yacht Club en de São Francisco de Assis kerk. Het geheel is aangelegd rondom een kunstmatig meer. Het Ensemble bevat gewaagde constructies die het vormbare potentieel van beton maximaal uitbuiten, waarbij de architectuur, het landschapsontwerp, beeldhouwwerken en schilderijen een harmonieus geheel vormen. Lokale tradities, het Braziliaanse klimaat en de natuurlijke omgeving hebben voor dit project de principes van de moderne architectuur beïnvloed.

Source: unesco.nl

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Pampulha Modern Ensemble: External area with stage in the background © Danilo Matoso Macedo
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Designed in 1940 around an artificial lake, the Pampulha ensemble, of four buildings set within landscaped grounds, was a centre for leisure and culture in the ‘garden city’ neighbourhood of Belo Horizonte, built as the new capital of Minas Gérais State.

The Casino, Ballroom, Golf Yacht Club and São Francisco De Assis Church, were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer who, working in collaboration with engineer Joaquim Cardozo, and artists including Cândido Portinari, created bold forms that exploited the plastic potential of concrete, and integrated the plastic arts such as ceramics and sculpture. Landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx reinforced the links between the buildings and their natural landscapes through designed gardens and a circuit of walkable spaces to reflect a dialogue with nature that emphasized the buildings as special pictures mirrored in the lake.

The Ensemble reflects the way principles of modern architecture that had evolved in the first decades of the 20th century were freed from rigid constructivism and adapted organically to reflect local traditions, the Brazilian climate and natural surroundings. Through a dynamic collaboration between various innovative artists in their respective fields of activity, the Ensemble pioneered a contextual approach in which a new fluid modern architectural language was fused with the plastic arts and design, and responded to its landscape context.

This new synthesis that evolved at Pampulha made Brazilian modern architecture widely known through for instance the exhibition ‘Brazil Builds. Architecture new and old (1652-1942)’, held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1943. The new architectural language proved highly influential in responding to emerging national identities in South America.

The Casino is now the Pampulha art museum, the Ballroom is the Centre of Refer­ence in Urbanism, Architecture and Design, the Golf Yacht Club is the Yacht Tennis Club, and the São Francisco De Assis Church remains in use as a church. Beyond the four buildings and their linking board walk, the original concept of the garden city neighbourhood still persists in the encircling Avenue with its green grass edges and beyond in the low rise detached houses in spacious gardens which collectively provide an overall rationale and context for the four buildings.

Criterion (i): Niemeyer, Burle Marx and Portinari collectively delivered a landscape ensemble that as a whole is an outstanding for the way it manifests a new fluid modern architectural language fused with the plastic arts and design, and one that interacts with its landscape context.

Criterion (ii): The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was linked to reciprocal influences between European and North America and the Latin American periphery and particularly to a poetic reaction to the perceived austerity of modern European architecture.

In establishing a synthesis between local regional practices and universal trends, as well as fostering dynamic links between architecture, landscape design and the plastic arts, Pampulha inaugurated a new direction in modern architecture which subsequently was used to assert new national identities in recently independent Latin American countries.

Criterion (iv): The Pampulha ensemble and its innovative architectural and landscape concepts reflects a particular stage in architectural history in South America, which in turn reflects wider socio-economic changes in society beyond the region. The economic crises of 1929 prompted demands for people to have greater inclusion in nation building. These circumstances influenced the design of the new garden city neighbourhood of Belo Horizonte as a place that could reflect creative and cultural ‘autonomy’ through innovative architectural buildings designed for public use, set in a designed ‘natural’ landscape, well endowed with public spaces for leisure and exercise.

Integrity

The boundaries of the Ensemble reflect the original design of the cultural centre around the new lake and include the four main buildings and most of their surrounding landscapes, both designed and natural. Only the west part of the lake is excluded from the boundaries. The ensemble as a whole can be seen as sufficiently intact. The four buildings still maintain a good relationship with each other, with the lake which they face, and with the garden city neighbourhood to their rear.

In terms of the overall design concept for the ensemble, which gives it a coherence, it is impossible in visual terms to separate the green areas on both sides of the encircling road from the ensemble. The 10 metre green area on the far side of the road and the first row of houses beyond are part of the coherence of the ensemble and need to be managed as such to sustain the integrity of the whole.

Three of the individual components, the Casino, the Ballroom and the Church are individually intact in terms of the way they reflect all their original architectural features, while two of them, the Casino and the Ballroom are also set in designed landscape gardens that reflect their original designs. For the Church, currently only part of its Burle Marx landscape has been restored, but there is a commitment for the remaining part of the landscape in Dino Barbieri Square to be re-configured to respect Burle Marx’s original designs.

The fourth component, the Yacht Club, is currently compromised by internal alterations, and recent additions, and by the lack of its Burle Marx designed landscape. There is a commitment to carry out the necessary restoration work to allow the Club building to once more express its original architectural and decorative designs and for it to be reunited with its designed landscape and lake frontage.

Pollution of the lake remains an issue, in relation to the idea of a beautiful landscape that provides leisure activities especially related to the water. This issue should be addressed in order that the lake can be reinstated as the element that binds together the buildings and designed landscapes and provides recreation.

In terms of visual integrity, the presence of two gigantic sport facilities very close to the property impact on views of the Church from the lake. Their impact needs to be mitigated through remedial work in the landscape.

Authenticity

If the fusion of architecture with other arts is to be fully understood, there is a need for the restoration of the Burle Marx landscapes which are a crucial aspect of the ensemble. In only two of the components (Casino and Ballroom) have the gardens been completely researched and restored. For the other two components, part of the Church garden has been restored but not the arboretum to the rear of the Church in Dino Barbieri Square, and no work has yet been done on the Yacht Club landscaping (although documentation survives). There is a commitment to address these issues and undertake necessary restoration work on the gardens.

In terms of buildings, the authenticity of the Yacht Club has been weakened by the heavy modification to the design, particularly by additional buildings which need to be removed, by inserted internal partitions and by the removal of some of its decorative elements. And the authenticity of the Ballroom has been impacted upon by the new entrance, which needs to be removed and the original one recreated. There are now commitments to undertake necessary restoration and reinstatement projects to reverse these changes and strengthen the authenticity of both these components.

The low-rise, low density housing in the surrounding ‘Garden city’ neighbourhood is vulnerable to changing uses and development, such as the large hotel near the Yacht Club, and these could impact adversely on the immediate landscape setting of the property.

Protection and management and requirements

The property is protected at national, state and local level. At the National level, the ensemble of buildings and landscape (which includes parts of the buffer zone) were protected in 1997 by IPHAN (National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute). At the Regional level, the ensemble also, since 1984, has had State level protection under the IEPHA-MG (State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Minas Gerais). In 2003 protection was also given to the surrounding perimeter which covers most of the buffer zone, but excludes some portions to the east and southwest. At the local level, the individual buildings have local protection.

The Master Plan of Belo Horizonte, 2010, defines the planning zones for the city. The buffer zone and the wider setting beyond it are in various restrictive zones. However, some of these are protected for environmental reasons, such as those encompassing the parks and the part of the lake in the buffer zone, while areas around the stadia are delineated as ‘large equipment’ zones and further areas are designated as ‘favourable densification’ zones or for ‘large scale community facilities’. A further planning restriction is provided by the Special Planning Guidelines’ Area (ADE).

In order to protect the context for the designed ensemble as the core of a garden city neighbourhood, strengthened protection and specific restrictions need to be put in place for the buffer zone that reflect its cultural value as an essential context for the designed ensemble.

A Management Plan sets out a matrix of responsibilities. This plan needs to be augmented to provide strategic guidelines that can over-arch management and decision making as formal commitments to progress in key areas, and to provide a clear enough understanding of the challenges of protecting not just the key buildings in their landscape setting but also the essential characteristics of the traditional neighbourhoods that complement the ensemble and together form a complex historic urban landscape. The Plan also needs to provide a more targeted set of monitoring indicators that relate to the defined attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.

In order to bring together the main stakeholders of the property and its buffer zone, the government has created a Committee in which all three levels of government participate. It has the mandate to set the guidelines for the execution of the Management Plan and to promote the execution of actions by the different levels of government and municipal authorities with jurisdiction over the ensemble. Within the Municipality, there is a management group that deals with day-to-day management. This brings together those responsible for the buildings and those with responsibilities for the boardwalk and lake – currently within different departments.

Only 45% of the Pampulha Basin is within Belo Horizonte Municipality, while the remainder is within the Contagem Municipality. Although the Contagem Municipality participates in the Recuperation of the Pampulha Basin programme, which deals with environmental issues, its participation needs to be extended to cultural aspects as well.
Activities (1)