Niemeyer's Brasília photographed
by Andrew Prokos


These night shots by New York photographer Andrew Prokos capture some of the buildings designed by late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in Brasília (+ slideshow).

National Museum of the Republic
National Museum of the Republic

Andrew Prokos topped the Night Photography category at this year's International Photography Awards with the series, which documents buildings such as the National Congress of Brazil and the Cathedral of Brasília after dark.

National Congress of Brazil
National Congress of Brazil

"I became fascinated by Oscar Niemeyer’s buildings as works of art in themselves, and the fact that Niemeyer had unprecedented influence over the architecture of the capital during his long lifetime," said Prokos.

National Congress of Brazil
National Congress of Brazil

Niemeyer, who passed away last year, completed a series of civic and government buildings in the Brazilian capital over the course of his career, following the appointment of Juscelino Kubitschek as president in 1956.

Cathedral of Brasília
Cathedral of Brasília

As well as the congress building and cathedral, Niemeyer also designed the Palácio do Planalto - the official workplace of the president - as well as the National Museum of the Republic and Itamaraty Palace.

Palácio do Planalto
Palácio do Planalto

"I found the city fascinating from a visual perspective," Prokos told Dezeen. "At its best the Niemeyer architecture is elegant and inspired; at the other end of the spectrum there are structures that are straight out of the Soviet era."

Itamaraty Palace
Itamaraty Palace

See more of Niemeyer's architecture in our earlier slideshow feature.

Praça Duque de Caxias
Praça Duque de Caxias
  • Bruno Guimaraes

    Amo Brasília!

    • Omnicrom


  • Stophorous

    The article gives the impression that Brasilia was build over the lifetime of Niemeyer, which isn’t true. It was built in one go! Even if some buildings were aded later, the impression given here is just wrong.

    • sfhfs

      That’s not true. The monumental areas were more or less built in one go (but not really). Not so the residential wings.

  • El Jiji

    Back when I knew nothing about architecture, I found his cathedral to be exciting. Nowadays I can’t stand anything Niemeyer has designed.

    • Stophorous

      Why is that? Are you saying that everyone that knows something about architecture has to dislike Niemeyers work?

      • El Jiji

        No, definitely not. I’m just saying that for me it is impossible not to sense in his buildings what I regard as stereotypical architectural arrogance. This sort of grand gesture requires no critical thinking. It’s a sort of shamelessness about form. I don’t need to be taken very seriously though, I have not studied his person or work in detail.

    • Humdrum

      You’ll come back to him don’t worry :)

  • Luciano

    Check also the work of Jorge Sato – another amazing photographer that captured Niemeyer’s masterpieces:

  • threehundredbeers

    All very nice, but there’s a point where one ceases to be a photographer and becomes a Photoshopper.

    • Archimboldo

      These are long-exposure photos, not the typical day pictures we have all seen before of Brasilia. That’s what gives them a more surreal quality and makes them so beautiful.

  • datadata123

    There’s a very digital look to the pictures. If you search for original black and white images and other photographers’ pictures you will find much higher-quality work.

  • Maguinho

    Photography is all captured digitally now so it’s just a matter of taste really. I personally think that digitally captured photos are much sharper and crisper than the old analog (film) photos. They have an amazing clarity that the old film can’t match and the colours are much purer. As for the quality, I’ve never seen anything better of Brasilia anywhere, and I grew up there!

    • data123123

      The photos in this post are just cheesy and do not communicate the quality of the architecture well.

      You clearly do not know what you are talking about. You have an opinion about it, but a known fact is that do be up in the league of analog photo you have to have a medium format digital, which is around 10-30k usd+

      I know this is an old article, but digital is almost the same today and the best is only a little bit cheaper than before.

      Digital cameras still have a lot of limitations and the ones used by you and me cannot compete with the dynamic range and sharpness. Only colour vividness, maybe.

      Check these photos for some unique modern Brasilia photos:

      • Evan Lonnegan

        Your attitude seems hostile to the other comments data123123. We all have our opinions. The photos in this article won a major international photography competition and I think the judges probably know as much as you do.

        I looked at the photographer you posted and there are some interesting photos, but they are more journalistic and nothing half as gorgeous as these. You assume the photographer is using a digital camera “like you and me” – he probably uses something far better than what you and I have. Just my 2 cents.

  • Peter B

    Stunning – my first real exposure to his work. My education was more Roberto Burle Marx, the landscape architect of that time, than the architects of Brasilia, which seems a bit ridiculous now. Great photos Andrew. I’ll leave the debate on the technical aspect of the photos and architecture to others. As images, those are the most compelling that I’ve seen for some time.

  • meme

    Boring, nothing new.

  • James Briano

    Well done.