The New Niemeyer

Fifty years in the making, Oscar Niemeyer's 800-seat concert hall sits in Ibirapuera Park, itself laid out by Niemeyer and master landscaper Roberto Burle Marx in 1955. The park is a kind of architectural hat trick: The auditorium is flanked by two other Niemeyer masterpieces, the Museu de Arte Moderna and the Pavilhão Ciccillo Matarazzo. But it's the new structure the 98-year-old architect seems to consider especially important. He reportedly scrawled across a sketch of the building, "After so many years, the auditorium will be built and the entrance to Ibirapuera finally finished as it should have been." For this last phase of the plan, he created a great wedge of concrete whose only external fea- ture is a bright-red metal tongue that juts out on the perpendicular to form the en- trance. Inside, a grand staircase swoops around a monumental red sculpture by Japanese Brazilian Tomie Ohtake and then on up to the velvet-lined auditorium. The back wall of the stage opens so that patrons inside have a view of the park and those outside get a concert alfresco. 55-11/6846-6000;