Lúcio Costa and the Question of Monumentality in his Pilot Plan for Brasilia


  • José Pessôa Fluminense Federal University





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


The urban design for Brasilia emphasizes the role of the city as a capital, that is to say, as an expression of State identity and power. Lúcio Costa considered monumentality as a characteristic inherent in urbanism, but this should not be achieved by any ostentatious grandiosity in terms of the volumes and sizes designed, and rather by providing a more singular external expression in the building concept used incorporating nature, capable of both pleasing and moving their occupants. The dimension of monumentality is a fundamental question in understanding the urban solution adopted in Brasilia.

How to Cite

Pessôa, J. (2010). Lúcio Costa and the Question of Monumentality in his Pilot Plan for Brasilia. Docomomo Journal, (43), 22–25. https://doi.org/10.52200/43.A.DMT9PCP3






Author Biography

José Pessôa, Fluminense Federal University

Is professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói. He holds a PhD in urban planning from the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia and is author of Lucio Costa: documentos de trabalho (1999), Moderno e Nacional (2006), and Atlas de Centros Históricos do Brasil (2007). He leads a research group that is building a complete catalogue of the works of Lucio Costa in a collaboration between the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Universidade Ritter dos Santos, and the Casa de Lúcio Costa.