Christian de Portzamparc created the Cidade das Artes, situated between sea and mountain, in the center of fourteen kilometers of plain which saw recently developing the new major district of Rio de Janeiro: Barra da Tijuca. The building is a little city contained in one big structure raised and established on a vast terrace ten meters above ground.
This terrace is the public space; it is the gathering place that gives access to all facilities. Cidade das Artes combines a large variety of places: a concert room, a room of chamber music and popular music, movie theatres, dance studios, numerous rehearsal rooms, exhibition spaces, restaurants, a media library. The Cidade das Artes is seen as a large house, a great veranda above the city, homage to an archetype of Brazilian architecture. Between the two horizontal plates of the roof and the terrace are set the large curved concrete walls that contain the halls in an interplay of volumes and voids.
All images © Nelson Kon, Courtesy of Christian de Portzamparc