architecture in salvador: 4 important works

Escrito por Thiago Pinheiro

ArqBahia team of authors.

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Bahia is a Brazilian state known for its rich history and culture, which is reflected in its unique and diverse architecture. In this article, we will explore some of the main works of baiana architecture, including iconic buildings by renowned architects such as Lina Bo Bardi.

1. Lacerda Elevator: art deco architecture

One of the most iconic works in Bahia is the Elevador Lacerda, an important tourist landmark in the city of Salvador. Designed by Bahian engineer Augusto Frederico de Lacerda in 1869, the elevator was the first means of public transport between the upper and lower parts of the city. With its 72 meters high, the elevator offers a spectacular view of the city, including the famous Baía de Todos os Santos.

Architectural image of the Lacerda elevator.

Source: Turismo Bahia/Flickr

2. Teatro Castro Alves: modern architecture

Another notable work is the Teatro Castro Alves, located in Salvador. Designed by Bahian architect Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca and inaugurated in 1967, the theater is an impressive example of tropical modernism. With its curvy and elegant exterior, the theater is considered one of the most significant works of modern architecture in Bahia.

image of the architecture of the castro alves theater

Source: Correio do Povo

3. Solar do Unhão: modern and historic

A building of great importance in Bahia is the Solar do Unhão, an architectural complex located in the city of Salvador. Solar do Unhão is a historic building located in Salvador, Brazil. It was restored by the Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi, who also designed the famous Museu de Arte de São Paulo. Solar do Unhão is the seat of the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia.

Lina Bo Bardi's project was ambivalent, not denying the original building, but reinventing it by discovering new analogies in construction with the sea, Portuguese fortresses and industrial heritage. The building has a helical staircase that is considered one of Lina Bo Bardi's most brilliant works. It was built in wood using a system of fitting parts, similar to that used in ox carts. The staircase joins the ground floor to the first floor of the main building, which dates back to the 16th century and has several limitations due to its heritage status. [1]

image of the architecture of the solar do unnhão

Source: Nelson Kon

image of the stairway of solar do unnhão, museum of modern art in salvador

Source: ArchDaily

4. Market Model: eclectic

Finally, Salvador's Mercado Modelo is an important building in Bahia. The Mercado Modelo in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, is an old historic building that is currently used as a craft market. It was inaugurated on February 2, 1912 and was built on the site where the Customs House of Salvador used to be. The market occupies an area of 2,400 m² (40m x 60m) and has an impressive façade that catches the attention of visitors.

The current facade of Mercado Modelo was built in 1915, after the old facade was replaced by a new one. The market's architecture is a mix of styles, including neoclassical and colonial, and was inspired by European buildings. The market has two floors and has more than 250 stores selling local products, including handicrafts, clothing, accessories, spices and souvenirs from Salvador.

In 2023, it was reported that the basement of the Mercado Modelo, which had been deactivated for over ten years, was opened for visitation and has enchanted visitors for the beauty of the architecture and the mystery that surrounds the history of the space.

In addition to these works, Bahia also has other notable constructions, such as the Rio Branco Palace and the São Bento Monastery. With its rich history and diverse architectural heritage, Bahia is an unmissable destination for lovers of architecture and culture.

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