Oscar Niemeyer is a Brazilian architect known to be the father of modernism in South America. In the 1950s, he played a great role in designing and building his home country’s new capital city, Brasilia. Niemeyer is celebrated for his love for curvatures and soft lines in design.
Paul Goldberger, the renowned architectural critic once wrote,” Niemeyer didn’t compromise modernism’s utopian ideals, but when filtered through his sensibility, the stern, unforgiving rigor of so much European modernism became as smooth as Brazilian jazz.”
In 1968, the head of the Mondadori publishing company, Georgio Mondadori, chose Niemeyer to create the new headquarters for the publishing house in Italy. Mondadori wanted the building to resemble the Brazilian ‘Itamaraty Palace’ or the ‘Palace of the Arches’.
Although the mischievous architect agreed to the Italian publicist’s request, he opted to alter the design and build what became one of his dearest projects in the whole of Europe.
Mondadori has asked the Portuguese photographer and digital artist, Karina Castro—based in Milan (Italy), to photograph the 40-year-old building and the resulting collection of pictures was overwhelming.
“Whoever goes to see the Mondadori headquarters remains astonished because nobody has ever seen a colonnade in which the arches are different from each other” Niemeyer once said, elaborating the effect of novelty in architecture.
The HQ features the main concrete structure with its colonnades, which are mirrored by the nearby pond. Niemeyer’s design used different spans for every arch which gave the colonnade a new dimension resembling a ‘musical rhythm’.
The building’s reflection on the water was most intriguing for Castro to capture in her pictures, in addition to the angular volumes and the smooth planes.
Check out the gallery below to see Karina Castro’s pictures of the Mondadori building in Italy.