Burle Marx was the first Brazilian landscape architect to depart from the classical principles of formal garden design. He introduced asymmetrical plans that have influenced landscape architects ever since. These included the use of native vegetation, colorful paving, and free-form bodies of water. A painter by training, Burle Marx treated landscape as a living work of art, with carefully studied juxtapositions of contrasting colors, shapes, and textures.
Burle Marx designed the landscaping for Ibirapuera Park, and the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who celebrates his hundredth birthday this year, designed its buildings. Burle Marx's plan for the park includes organically shaped planting beds, pathways, and bodies of water, illustrating his project of integrating landscape with architecture. Burle Marx and Niemeyer had worked on several projects together, and in the 1930s and 1940s had collaborated with Le Corbusier on the Ministry of Education and Public Health Building in Rio de Janeiro.
Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.