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Ibirapuera Park and Niemeyer

Lost in the urban jungle called São Paulo, Ibirapuera Park has the power of transporting us to a dimension where nature blends with Niemeyer’s architecture. A green place full of contagious magic to which culture gives a unique ambience.

Photo by -alia-

Opened in 1954, with the intension of marking the celebrations of the city’s fourth centenary, Ibirapuera Park is São Paulo’s most important urban park.

Ibirapuera means “rotten wood or decaying tree” in Tupi language. The region where the park lands now was, in the past, a swampy region part of an indigenous village in the colonization time, and it was previously an area of farms and pastures.

The park’s area is 1584km², of which 16km² are occupied by three artificial and interconnected lakes. They are home for many animals including beautiful black swans.

The park is full of bike paths that mix families and young radicals. Their green lawns get stained with the most diverse colors from the ammount of people enjoying the outdoors and at the same time several activities going on in the park.

The park is also famous for the many buildings present there. There, the architecture flows and the green absorbs the white raw architecture of Oscar Niemeyer. It was responsibility of the architect the architectural project designed in the 50s. This architectural complex consists of several buildings that sometimes seem illusions fallen in the middle of the park´s nature. Among them, two of the buildings that I see with more interest are also this architect’s works.


The Lucas Nogueira Garcez Pavilion, popularly known as Oca, is a pavilion used to host major exhibitions. It is a dome marked by hatches at its base. Its shape reminds us of an element fallen from the sky, futuristic and somehow, sinister.


The Ibirapuera Auditorium was also designed in the ’50s, but was only built in 2005. The inside capacity is 800 people, but when open a 20 feet door in the back of the stage, the capacity reaches almost 15,000 people in the outside area. It’s currently used for cultural activities, musicals especially. The Ibirapuera Auditorium also houses, in its basement, the Auditorium´s School with the aim of revealing and supporting new talents.

written by -alia- and translated by -alia-

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The original version of this article is written in: Português. It is also available in: Spanish.