Brazilian Palace of Congress: a Study of the Marble Cladding System State of Conservation


The Brazilian Palace of Congress designed by Oscar Niemeyer is a relevant cultural heritage in the scenario of modern Brazilian and South American architecture. Its 29-story towers coated with white marble are a representative example of the high-rise buildings. 60 years after the building inauguration, arises an urgent need to monitor the aging of the marble cladding system and plan its conservation. This article presents a study with an integrated approach, considering the cladding system related to the architecture and constructive solutions, with the aim to investigate how the building is aging. The documentary and field surveys made it possible to carry out statistical studies of the cladding system state of conservation, its damage, criticality and exposure conditions. The behavior of building in height was verified, which was aging evenly, given that the statistical tests showed no difference between the analyzed sections. Likewise, it was possible to prove how decisive is the solar orientation for the system degradation. When comparing the correlation maps of the two facades, the Northwest one showed a strong correlation between moist area and biological colonization by microorganisms, which in turn had an intense correlation also with efflorescence. The greater criticality of damage noticed on the Northwest gable indicated that this solar orientation is subject to the most severe exposure conditions. State of Conservation Scenarios pointed out that architectural solutions and construction practices favored the system's durability. As a future scenario, the importance of planned monitoring actions is highlighted, within the scope of a Conservation Plan.

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de Lima, B.B., Zanoni, V.A.G. Brazilian Palace of Congress: a Study of the Marble Cladding System State of Conservation. J Build Rehabil 6, 11 (2021).

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  • Modern architecture
  • Marble cladding systems
  • State of conservation
  • Brazilian palace of congress