The Church of the Holy Family: Blending Tradition and Modernism in Brasilia
Discover the Poetic Harmony of Nature and Architecture in the Church of the Holy Family, Brasilia.

As someone who has been married to an architect for over 25 years and is heavily involved in design, I have developed a passion for the profession. Over the years, my husband and his architectural colleagues have introduced me to some of the world's most innovative designers, and as a result I have developed my own personal likes for some of the world's most renowned and brilliantly designed buildings.

One city that never fails to captivate me is Brazil. The country's innovative architecture is what I find most remarkable, from the unconventional use of materials to the creative designs that are unapologetically Brazilian. It's possible that the designs are a reflection of the unique environment and landscape. There's just something about Brazil’s architecture that stands out in the world, making it an intriguing destination for any design enthusiast..

That said, I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful piece of design: the Church of the Holy Family in Brasilia, Brazil, which was created by ARQBR Arquitetura e Urbanismo. This church is a significant contribution to a major urban extension and blends traditional elements of canonical structures with modernist and contemporary designs. The building blends seamlessly into the environment and offers a space for worship and reflection, demonstrating how modern architecture can blend with tradition in harmony.

The architectural concept of the Church of the Holy Family reflects the relationship between spirituality, nature, and community. The circular nave is designed to welcome congregation members and allows natural light to illuminate the space through a circular roof ring. The structure is elevated on six pillars, preserving both the internal space's intimacy and the external landscape's view. The church's two main axes connect the circular nave, annex, and parish activities, creating a seamless flow that emphasises the inseparability between public and private spaces, community, and the sacred.

This church is truly a prime example of the harmonious blending of the natural landscape and architectural design and speaks to the poetic dimension of our world. It is no wonder that Brasilia is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its consideration of the landscape as a fundamental element of its architectural configuration.

I found the Planalto, that horizon without limit, excessively vast. It was out of scale – like an ocean with immense clouds moving over it. By putting a city in the middle of it, we would be creating a landscape”. - Lucio Costa

Lúcio Costa: The Brazilian Architect Who Defined Modernism. He was the urban planner behind Brasília, blending traditional Brazilian forms with international modernism to create a unique style that defined his legacy.

Brazil Church -Brasilia

Photo Credit: Joana França

Maria Ugrinovski

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The Church of the Holy Family: Blending Tradition and Modernism in Brasilia