Rua Paulo César de Andrade might as well be the modernist row of the carioca (Rio-based) school of architecture. The street is home to three of Lucio Costa's apartment buildings, and two others by the Roberto brothers that wrap around Parque Guinle in the Rio's Laranjeiras neighborhood.
Designed between 1948 and 1954, Costa's works -- the Nova Cintra, Bristol, and Caledônia buildings -- are sited at the lower end of the sloping park. These buildings were meant to serve as models for a larger project the Guinle family wanted to build in the park that they owned. At first the buildings seem nearly identical with their pilotis and diverse patterns of cobogó bricks forming sun shades for the balconies. Yet, they each navigate different sites, and use space and materials in subtly different ways.
Nova Cintra, at the base of the park and on a relatively flat site, is more woven into the urban fabric of the city than the others. I was so pleasantly surprised to find it had a mixed-use ground level! Though a fence makes this zone feel private, a small grocery, a pilates studio, a boutique store, and a dance studio are here. Obviously, I had to grab a pão de queijo -- with some monkeys! In the residential part of the design, Costa pulled out the circulation and encased the stairwells in glass In a really unusual way.
Moving up the slope of the park, the Bristol building is next. Here the pilotis are used to open up the ground level much more, and the facade is more regular, with only the play of textures to individualize it a bit.
Caledônia, further up on up the hill, has the most open ground level, opening up vistas to the rock outcropping just beyond it. Here, I noticed a greater use of pink, and floor patterns, both of which seem to complement the cobogós.
The Roberto brothers -- Marcelo, Milton, and Maurício -- were a mainstay in the Rio modernist scene. Marcelo and Maurício designed two attached residential buildings that follow the curve of the mountain around Parque Guinle Between 1950 and 1962. Like the other buildings, I could wander freely around the ground level. From afar, the complex looks completely massive, bordering on Brutalism. Up close, the materials (tiles) and playful geometry of the structure give way to more variety.