Our Project Designers Visit Brazil

Last month, Project Designers Priscilla Rocha and Tucker Jaroll, went on a trip that started in Brasília and ended with a fifteen-hour road trip to Rio de Janeiro where they spent a handful of sunny days in Copacabana. Having grown up in Brazil, Priscilla had the opportunity to attend a family reunion and bring Tucker along for the first time.

Brasília is known for its modernist architecture, so they were really looking forward to exploring the city. It is unique because it was planned from scratch in the middle of then, nowhere, by urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer. It was officially established as the nation’s capital in 1960. Priscilla’s grandpa, Vovô Wilson, said that they put advertisements for the “New Capital!” in the newspaper. The advertisement certainly inspired him, and he’s been there ever since.

From an urban planning standpoint what is so interesting about Brasília is that, in plan view, the city is shaped like an airplane. People either live on the “south wing” or “north wing” with the government buildings as the body of the plane. Oscar Niemeyer, the main architect accredited for designing city buildings and one of the key figures in modern architecture, once said, “It was the drawing that led me to architecture, the search for light and astonishing forms.” Priscilla and Tucker visited several of his buildings to do just that. Among the ones they visited was the Cathedral of Brasília, Centro Cultural do Brasil, the University of Brasília, and Igrejinha Nossa Senhora de Fatima. They took the time to sit and draw the floor plans and elevations, trying to better understand the concepts behind them.

In Rio, they spent a lot of time on the beach. One day they went for a boat ride and visited a great hippie artisanal market, and the botanical garden, relaxed and ate great food. Tucker was able to try many new foods and drinks, like cashew juice.

“I have spent the better part of my life going to Brasil every other year to visit family and I have never had the opportunity to take anyone from here in the US. It was very special to show Tucker where I’m from and all the things that I love so dearly. I especially appreciated that he has a design mind too and gets excited to notice and point out things in newly built environments. We are looking forward to returning one day to keep discovering the huge amount of significant and astounding architecture in Brazil.”
         – Priscilla Rocha

Tucker says that what inspires him more than seeing the big architecturally significant buildings like the Cathedral of Brasília, is seeing people’s homes – inside and out– in different countries. For instance, how builders in other countries come up with design solutions, and how people arrange their kitchens and decorate their spaces.

“Outside of the architecture and experience as a whole, what I really loved about Brazil was all of the plants and nature. I hadn’t been anywhere with so many rich, green plants and fresh fruit everywhere- it felt magical- especially after returning to the midwestern winter!”
         – Tucker Jaroll

Tucker and Priscilla are both project designers here at LWB. Priscilla focuses more on the interior side of designing, while Tucker focuses more on the big picture, schematic design. We are so excited to have these two creative and enthusiastic designers on our team and loved hearing the stories of their time in Brazil.