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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: "Beautiful Buildings of Brasilia" - practice English with Spotlight

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welcome to spotlight I'm Liz Waid and

I'm Bruce garland spotlight uses a

special English method of broadcasting

it is easier for people to understand no

matter where in the world they live our

building stands against a bright blue

sky it has 16 columns these white poles

begin in a large circle and curved

inwards in the shape of a bell the

columns almost touch each other but then

they continue up and out in the space

between the columns walls of glass make

a round shape the glass is blue white

and green from the outside the building

looks a bit like open hands that are

touching at the wrists inside there are

statues of angels this is the Cathedral

of Brasilia this Christian Church and

many important buildings of Brasilia

were all built at the same time they

were designed by one great architect

today's spotlight is on the beautiful

and important buildings in Brasilia

every country in the world has a capital

city the capital is where the leaders of

the country live and work many capital

cities are ports on the ocean in the


one such city was Rio de Janeiro it was

the capital of Brazil but to the port of

Rio de Janeiro was extremely crowded

there was not enough space for all the

people who lived there and the business

of the huge country of Brazil was

concentrated in a very small area in

1956 Brazil elected a new president Zhu

Cellino kubacheck

he wanted to move the capital city this

was not a new idea people had talked

about moving the capital city for many

years the name had even been chosen

Brasilia president coupies cheque

decided it was time to finally build for

sylia but who would design the important

buildings president coupies cheque

wanted brasilia to be beautiful he

wanted it to be modern so he chose a

skilled and experienced Brazilian

architect to build Brasilia his name was

Oscar Niemeyer

Nehemiah was born in Rio de Janeiro in

1907 he was a well respected architect

by the time he was 30 years old Nehemiah

was a great artist his designs were very

different than other buildings at the

time most other buildings had straight

lines up and down

Nehemiah liked to build using half

circles and curves many of his designs

had a rounded paths

Nehemiah used these shapes because he

saw them in nature in a book about his

life he explains how he was inspired by

the beauty of Brazil I did not use

traditional architecture designed with

straight lines and squares I boldly

entered the world of curves by using

concrete this purposeful protest came

from the environment in which I lived my

design came from Brazil's white coasts

it's huge mountains it's old traditional

churches and it's beautiful women


Nia Myers designs for Brasilia were also

inspired by the curves of nature these

natural shapes inspired the cathedral

from the beginning of this program to

make these shapes Nia Meyer used a

material called

concrete concrete is a grey building

material it is a mixture of ground sand

and stone mixed with cement when this

mixture is wet it can be poured into a

shape when concrete dries it is very

hard using concrete gave me a Meyer a

lot of freedom to design and build

interesting buildings Nehemiah was very

excited to design the main buildings of

Brasilia he saw the new Capitol as a

chance for a fresh beginning for Brazil

he described his ideas for brasilia's

buildings when planning the government

buildings for Brasilia I tried to push

the use of concrete to its limits I

wanted to be as light and detailed as


I wanted it to seem as if the buildings

barely touched the ground this seems

like an impossible thing to do to make

heavy concrete seem like it is floating

but Niemeyer achieved it Nia Myers

designed a building

called the palace of the dawn it was a

house for brazil's president this

building looks like it is floating above

the ground

it has curved white points around it

they are very light and beautiful a lake

around the palace reflects these curved

shapes Nehemiah also designed the

National Congress this government

building has many parts the biggest part

is two tall towers that rise straight up

into the air on one side of this is a

white building it is shaped like a bowl

that a person would eat out of on the

other side is a building in the opposite

shape it is a dome which is rounded on

top like a bowl turned upside down these

shapes are not the usual design of

government buildings nehemiah told the

BBC if you go to see brasilia the

important thing is this you may or may

not like the buildings but you could

never say you had seen something similar

before those fine columns the buildings

like a bird's feathers touching the

ground all that creates an effect of


Neah Meyer believed that building

Brasilia was an important project for

the whole country building the new city

would be a way to give people jobs it

did not take any special education to

build with concrete so many different

people could help build Brasilia Nia

Meyer designed and built Brasilia in

only four years Brasilia became the

official capital of Brazil in 1960

Nehemiah also hoped that his buildings

would bring people joy

Nehemiah believed that all people should

enjoy in the buildings of Brasilia he

believed that architects should inspire

and serve other people he told a

biography channel website it is

important that the designer think of

more than design the architects role is

to fight for a better world one where he

can produce an architecture that serves

everyone not just a group of important

people today Nia Myers buildings do just

this Brasilia is now a UNESCO World

Heritage Site the United Nations

believes that these buildings are

important cultural structures people

from all over the world come to Brasilia

to see Niemeyer's buildings their

beautiful design continues to inspire


and will continue to do so for many

years the writer of this program was

Rena dam the producer was Nick man Jules

the voices you heard were from the

United States and the United Kingdom all

quotes were adapted for this program and

the voiced by spotlight you can listen

to this program again and read it on the

Internet at Brasilia

you can also leave your comments on our

website and find us on Facebook just

search for spotlight radio we hope you

can join us again for the next spotlight

program goodbye




The Description of "Beautiful Buildings of Brasilia" - practice English with Spotlight