Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Info about Copan, one of the symbols of Sao Paulo.

Designed in the 50's by architect Oscar Niemeyer with the assistance of Carlos Alberto Cerqueira Lemos, the Copan building came at a time when the city of São Paulo was passing through a dynamic growth and astonishing transformation. With the advance of industrialization outside the city limits along with a major real estate speculation in the center, two striking aspects happened in this season: a strong urban expansion and a growth of population, which lead to a verticalization in the central area. At that time the economy was strengthened and São Paulo was preparing to be a big city, need icons representative of its greatness. The Copan for its structural grandeur and bold architecture can be considered one of these symbols. The original project commissioned by the Pan American Hotel Company lies in the residential building of 30 floors and another hotel building with 600 apartments. The two buildings would be connected by a Marquise in the ground floor where there would be garages, film, theater and shops, but only the residential building was built. The work was made by the National Company Construction Industry (CNI), was started in 1952, but only in 1953 the construction permit was obtained. After some financial problems the work was interrupted several times. In 1957 Banco Bradesco purchased the rights to build and in 1961 the parts of masonry and reinforced concrete were completed.
The sinuous form of Copan breaking right angles of the center of São Paulo, is the mark of its creator. The taste for curve line is the main characteristic of the work of Oscar Niemeyer who wrote: "is not the right angle that attracts me, not the straight, tough, ... what attracts me is a free and sensual curves. .. " (Niemeyer, 1998).

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