The Restoration of the Alvorada Palace


  • Hattie Hartman




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


This article describes the highly successful restoration of Alvorada Palace completed in 2005 by Sergio Valle Brasileiro. After situating the importance of the Alvorada within Niemeyer’s overall oeuvre and describing the original design, the dilapidated state of the building at the turn of the 21st century is described. The details of the restoration, including meetings with Oscar Niemeyer about specific design decisions and consultation with IPHAN, and the challenge of sourcing new materials to match the original, such as jacaranda - now protected by IBAMA - are also studied. The Alvorada serves as an example for the restoration of other Modernist buildings in Brazil.

How to Cite

Hartman, H. (2010). The Restoration of the Alvorada Palace. Docomomo Journal, (43), 56–59.







Author Biography

Hattie Hartman

Holds joint Masters of Architecture and Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Harvard University. After fifteen years as an architect —with practices in Brasilia, Washington, D.C. and London, she turned to journalism in 1998 and today is sustainability editor of The Architects’ Journal, London. She retains indelible memories of her years on the planalto central, where she worked as an urban designer in Brasilia’s satellite cities.