Lúcio Costa is a renowned French-Brazilian architect, famous for designing Brazil’s new capital at Brasilia.
Lúcio Costa was born on February 27, 1902, in Toulon, France. Lúcio attended the National School of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro, and in 1924, he received his bachelor’s degree. The same year, he began his practice and partnered with Gregori Warchavchik, a renowned Russian architect and supporter of modern architecture.
In 1931, Costa accepted the position of director at the School of Architecture, National School of Fine Arts. Costa’s tenure marked a phase of revolutionary change and reformation to the school’s environment, curriculum and inspired a generation of students to incline towards modernist architecture. Costa is accredited for bringing the elements of the Neo-colonial revival into Brazilian architecture.
In 1937, Costa, along with Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier, was commissioned to design the Ministry of Education and Health building in Rio de Janeiro. This building, famous for its movable sun-shade louvers, is widely considered the first structure inspired by Modernist architecture in not only Brazil, but the entire Latin America. In 1939, Costa collaborated with Oscar Niemeyer on the design for the Brazilian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair 1939.
In addition to his public and private commissions, Costa was also actively involved with the National Institute for Historical and Artistic Patrimony, Rio de Janeiro, an organization devoted to the restoration of historic buildings throughout the country. Gradually, Costa began to exhibit an inclination towards the revolutionary ideas of the European avant-garde.
In 1948, Costa began developing his widely acclaimed Eduardo Guinle apartment block in Rio de Janeiro, the project was completed in 1954. The same year, he always designed the houses for the Rental Housing of Cintra, in 1950, he was commissioned on a similar project, to design house for Bristol, and in 1954, for Caledonia. In 1955, Costa designed the Brazilian Pavilion at the Cite Universitaire, in Paris.
In 1956, Lúcio Costa’s design won the competition for the plan of the city of Brasilia. It consisted of a straight line of public and administrative buildings and diagonal curved-line of residential apartments and houses.