It's impossible to talk about landscaping in Brazil without talking about Roberto Burle Marx. Burle Marx is internationally known as one of the most important landscape architects of the 20th century. An artist of multiple facets, besides being a landscape designer he was also a remarkable painter, sculptor, singer and jewelry designer, with a sensibility that is shown throughout his work.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil on August 4th, 1909, Burle Marx moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1913. During the years of 1928 and 1929 he studied painting in Berlin, Germany, where he was often seen at the Dahlem Botanic Garden's greenhouses. In this garden he noticed for the first time the beauty of the tropical plants and the Brazilian flora. After Germany, he spent a lot of time in the Brazilian forests where he was able to study and explore. This enabled him to add significantly to the botanical sciences, by discovering new rocks and plants for example. At least 30 plants bear his name!
At that time, the landscaping in Brazil followed European trends, called Eclecticism, mixing Classic and Roman, with the use of tropical plants or not. Burle Marx, flanked by other modernist artists of the time, broke these trends and began landscaping with a strong nationalist tendency. The twentieth century marked a time of increased activity of landscaping in the country as well as growing demands of landscaped spaces to the urban population. During this time urban and social changes were constant and Brazil continued into the new century as an urban nation, enabling, especially after the 1950s, the expansion of the landscaping market, both within the public & private.
From landscaping projects in the Parque do Ibirapuera, São Paulo, to the Embassy of Brazil in Washington, DC, to work in Europe and other countries in Latin America, Burle Marx has produced hundreds of beautifully landscaped places around the planet.
Much of his work has a sense of timelessness and perfection. His aesthetics are often nature-based; for example, never mixing flower colors, utilization of big groups of the same specimen, using native plants and making a rocky field into a relaxing garden. He was very interested in each plant's character and what effect that has on the whole garden.
|Interior Landscaping in the New York Botanical Garden, by Roberto Burle Marx|
|Sao Paulo is a big city, as you can see in the picture! A lot going on, not much space and the preoccupation with security, as in any big city, have generated a tendency to small gardens at home, in multi-apartment condominiums and commercial buildings. Sao Paulo also has a great deal of large public spaces like parks and plazas for landscaping.|
|Interior landscape in a commercial building in Brazil.
Catedral da Sé
This cathedral marks the center of Sao Paulo, and palm trees form a path that invites for a stroll in the downtown.
Parque do Ibirapuera.
Inaugurated in 1954 for the 400th anniversary of the city, with buildings designed by famous architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape by designer Roberto Burle Marx, Ibirapuera Park covers an area of almost 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi). It is the second biggest park in the city.
I think now you guys can have an idea about how things are in São Paulo, and a little bit of Brazilian culture!