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Architectural sketch by Lúcio Costa

Architectural sketch by Lúcio Costa

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The creator of Brasília, Lúcio Costa, draws and signs a small sketch of a hotel.

  • Small sketch of a hotel designed and signed by Lúcio Costa.
  • One sheet, transparent tracing paper, black pen.
  • No information about date and location.
  • 23 cm x +/- 9 cm.
  • Excellent condition.
  • Unique piece.

Lúcio Costa was the main urban planner behind Brasília's master plan, having won the national competition for the new capital's master plan in 1957. His plan defined the general layout of the city, with the iconic plane or cross shape, designed to facilitate traffic flow and the division of residential and administrative areas. Costa designed Brasília's urban plan in line with the principles of the modernist movement.

His name is associated with that of Oscar Niemeyer, the architect responsible for the design of the main government buildings and monuments of the new capital, such as the National Congress, the Planalto Palace, the Federal Supreme Court and the Brasília Cathedral. Niemeyer was known for his distinctive style, characterized by curved and abstract forms, and his works in Brasília are considered classic examples of modern architecture.

Using an analogy, Costa defined the body and skeleton of Brasília, while Niemeyer brought that body to life with the skin and details that defined the city's appearance and identity. Both are essential to the existence of the city as it is known today, and their collaborations reflect a dialogue between urbanism and architecture that characterized the innovative and visionary spirit of the time.

This small hotel sketch, designed and signed by Lúcio Costa, is typical of an architect's preliminary sketches. We researched, but were unable to determine which hotel this drawing could correspond to; It may be related to a project in Brasília or elsewhere, possibly part of a preliminary study or a project that was never carried out. Architects do not always sign their sketches; but this was probably signed by Lúcio Costa when giving someone a gift.

All of Lúcio Costa's files were donated by his family to Casa da Arquitectura in Portugal in 2021, which took on the responsibility of conserving, studying and, eventually, exhibiting the collection. This is the first draft we have discovered and authenticated in the last fifteen years.

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