Modern and Traditional: Brasilia’s Paradigms


  • Sylvia Ficher
  • Pedro Paulo Palazzo University of Brasilia School of Architecture




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


By the 1950s, a shared culture spreading internationally through teaching and specialized literature became common currency in professional circles and gave rise to a repertoire of urban theories and practices. An examination of Lúcio Costa’s winning entry for the pilot plan of Brasilia attest to the existence of these paradigmatic formulae. Further more, not only was Brasilia a product of this culture, it grew to become itself archetypal. Yet, this high tide would be short-lived. In late 50s and early 60s, this veritable urban designer’s toolbox began to lose its legitimacy to become target of critical scrutiny.

How to Cite

Ficher, S., & Palazzo, P. P. (2010). Modern and Traditional: Brasilia’s Paradigms. Docomomo Journal, (43), 26–33.






Author Biographies

Sylvia Ficher

Architect (Universidade de São Paulo, 1972), Master in Historical Preservation (Columbia University, 1978), Ph.D. in History (Universidade de São Paulo, 1989), and Post-Doctorate in Sociology (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1990-92).

Pedro Paulo Palazzo, University of Brasilia School of Architecture

Architect, graduated from the University of Maryland, holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Brasilia School of Architecture, where he is Adjunct Professor.