• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector


  • Historical Function


  • Administrative Status

    National capital.

Location and site

Brasilia was built on the high lateritic plateaus of the Goias, at an altitude of 1,170 m. It is 1,000 km. inland.

Urban Morphology

The plan of Brasilia, which is inspired on Corbusian principles, is based on a rational organisation of urban activities. The ensemble, which is organised around two intersecting axes, is in the form of an airplane or a giant bird flying towards the southeast. The principal axis, 6 km. long and 350 m. wide, is reserved for administrative activities; commercial and residential quarters, in quadrants around a church and a school, developed along the length of the 20 km. long transversal axis. At the intersection of the two axes, the routes are superimosed to ensure efficient management of traffic.

The monumental ensemble brings together symmetrical forms and refined perspectives. In the context of the wide esplanades, the tall rectangular volumes of the skyscrapers are balanced by curved surfaces, creating a unified architectural ensemble that is symbolically charged as Brazil's new capital city.

Registration Criteria

C (i) (iv) Not available.

Historical Reference

  • The city of Brasilia was constructed as part of a policy to enhance Brazil's interior territory. The colonial conquest had left a country with an essential coastal population, and it was the port cities that continued to develop in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • The idea of constructing a capital city at the centre of the country dates to the end of the 17th century. In 1922, which marked the centenary of Brazil's independence, a stone was erected on the chosen site as a symbol of this idea. The constitution of 1891 foresaw the establishment of a federal district at the heart of the country.
  • When Juscelino Kubitschek, the former Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, became President of Brazil in 1955, it was decided that the seat of power should be transferred from Rio de Janiera to Brasilia. This decision affirmed Brazil's desire for progress.
  • It took five years (1955-1960) to construct the new federal capital and the routes crossing the Mato Grosso and the Amazon. The work was carried out according to the design of two Brazilians: urban planner Lucio Costa and architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Mr. Rodrigo Rollemberg
Governo do Distrito Federal
Administração Regional de Brasilia
SBN-Quadra 02 - Bloco K - Asa Norte Asa Norte
Brasilia, DF, Brazil
+55.61 3327.5000 / 3355 8000