Today was my first time ever in a different country other than the United States. I have never been so excited in my life. The opportunity to travel to these amazing places in the world is truly awesome! I feel very grateful for this opportunity to be able to be here.
On our descent into Rio de Janeiro I began taking photos of the landscape below. The rich deep red soil sticks out so clearly from 30k feet in the air. You can see patches of farming and the rain forests intertwined with each other. You start to see small structures that are scattered from here to there. As we get closer to the city you start to see more and more buildings and structures. When arriving into the International Airport (Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport) you come in from the west inland as opposed to the city airport (Santos Dumont Airport) where you enter from the east over the ocean giving you the iconic image of Rio de Janeiro.
From the west you can see the Favelas that start to grow more and more up the sides of the hills and mountains, it reminds me of this ever adjusting plant that adapts and continues to flourish even in the harshest conditions. There is a beauty in the way people build and adapt to their surrounding conditions. Using whatever may be readily available to them. Most of the building materials come from the surrounding construction sites where if materials left out will be snatched up at night or over a lunch break when workers will take their naps.
The architecture of the airport itself is brutalist at its best. It was originally a Brazilian Air force Base and then was extended and added two passenger terminals for international travel. It features two semi-circular plans that house passenger entry and exit.
As your driving through the city to Ipanema, we had to go through a favela instead of the regular route due to construction of a road. The favela was mind blowing, the poverty and the level of living was shocking. To think that these people are living and making the best out of what they have and can still put a smile on their face and in their hearts is remarkable. The will use whatever they can find to make it work, a door that will act as a piece of a roof, using brick in any way possible to infill holes in their walls.
The following images are from the roof top of my girlfriends father's apartment. It is an amazing view of Dos Hermanos. It shows how tall they build, all the apartment buildings and hotels trying to steal the view of the ocean from one another. Having the buildings so tall does allow the ground level and street life to be nicely cool in temperature. The tall buildings give protection from the direct sun and the tall buildings brings the cool air down toward the trees and then is cooled when hitting the people. The majority of people here will walk, so the cool air helps makes it more comfortable.
I would like to start a blog about my upcoming travels to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I am going to visually document and narrate my adventures around the city and local areas. I really want to share my findings with the architectural community and help document what people dont see in the websites online. I will be looking at the city from a macro to micro view all the time, taking into account the minute details to the overall city.