There's a lovely slide show of the highlights of Brazilian modernism on flickr. Of course, Oscar Niemeyer (now 102!) is a towering figure, especially when it comes to the architecture of the capital city, Brasilia.
Above all, the concrete angularity of modernist Brazil shows an openness to public life: agoras, piazzas, public buildings that welcome the citizen and the stranger alike. Compare and contrast with Abuja, a city almost entirely lacking in good quality architecture, and devoid of public buildings (no national library, art gallery, concert hall etc.) If one wants to wander in Abuja, one quickly finds oneself stumbling across roads and intersections, and at a loss as to where the actual centre of the city is (lacking as it does a central public space). Finally, after a tired day, the wanderer finds themself at the Transcorp Hilton, and realises that this is the city centre...
More interesting a prospect is Onikan in Lagos. This potentially could be the most delightful urban quarter in the whole country, with a bit of love and attention. Its mix of Brazilian-style houses and modernist towers is a treasure waiting to pulled out of the rubble. You read it here first..
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