img.0 Hotel Nacional São Conrado (Rio de Janeiro), Brazil
A hotel designed by famed Brazilian modernist Oscar Niemeyer has reopened as a luxury resort in Rio de Janeiro, after being closed for over 20 years.
Designed by the late Niemeyer in the late 1960s and completed in 1972, the 33-story Hotel Nacional overlooks the beach from the city's São Conrado neighbourhood.
The hotel was originally owned by banker Artur Falk and, when it opens, it was considerated the most modern hotel in Latin America and quickly became a Brazilian design icon. Even so, after it closed in 1995, the interior fixtures and furnishings were removed and the hotel became a canvas for graffiti artists.
Pop star Justin Beiber was charged with illegally graffitiing the hotel in 2013.
Cylindrical in form, the tower boasts panoramic views out to sea. It features a 3,000-square-meter lobby, and 2,500-square-metre gardens designed by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. A huge sculpture of a mermaid by Brazilian artist Alfredo Ceschiatti is also located on the site.
In 2009, a group led by Goias-based businessman Marcelo Limirio Gonçalves bought the derelict tower for a reported BRL $85 million (approximately £21.7 million).
It has now been revitalised and reopened as a five-star hotel run by Meliá Hotels International.
"Nobody builds anything so expansive and generous anymore," said Meliá Hotels International vice president Rui Manuel Oliveira.
Following a soft launch, all 413 rooms are expected to open on 15 January 2017. A restaurant, bar, and spa will open in February, with a convention centre to be opened in March. The hotel also has its own helipad.
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho better Know as Oscar Niemeyer (Rio de Janeiro December 14, 1907 - Rio de Janeiro December 5, 2012) was a Brazilian Architect. Niemeyer was one of 20th Century's most known internationals architects. In 1988 he won the Pritzker Prize and he was a pioneer in the idea of using reinforced concrete for buildings. He biggest work was the plan for Brasilia. Even though he was a utilitarianism supporter, Niemeyer's creations are far from blocky coldness. Thanks to he's buildings dinamism and plastics curves, he's often saw as sculptor more than architect.
img.1 Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012)
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