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Vargem Grande Farm

Pedro Mascaro

The infinite garden: a celebration of Roberto Burle Marx.

Containing one of the most significant projects by Roberto Burle Marx, Fazenda Vargem Grande is a 1837 colonial-style farm located in the the middle of the mountains in a region called Serra da Bocaina, a preserved forest between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Roberto Burle Marx (1909 - 1994), one of the most influential landscape architects of twentieth century, is best known for his iconic seaside pavements on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach and for his abstract, geometric garden designs, although his work encompasses an enormous range of artistic forms and styles.

A short film by Pedro Mascaro, photographer and video maker with a great interest in architecture, celebrates the masterpiece by Roberto Burle Marx, using drone footing and aerial photography. In the video, accompanied by a modern classical musical piece by Stardiva, the camera moves from the forest encircling Fazenda Vargem Grande towards the interiors of the farm, and from the garden, with its water ponds and aquatic plants, to the gates, turning the landscape design in the great protagonist of the video. Rossana Vaccarino famously wrote that Marx's work "can be summarized in four general design concepts—the use of native tropical vegetation as a structural element of design, the rupture of symmetrical patterns in the conception of open spaces, the colorful treatment of pavements, and the use of free forms in water features", all of which can be seen here. "It is impressive how the garden is in harmony with the bush, and it is difficult to recognize where one finishes and the other starts", adds Pedro Mascaro.

With a background in engineering and an expertise in photography inherited from his father - a photographer of urban landscape and architecture, with more than 50 years of career - Pedro Mascaro decided to take in architecture videos, as a way to upgrade the traditional architecture photography, characterized by technical and geometric rigor, by mixing it with camera movements. "You can show both the space and its use", he says, commenting his choice of becoming a video maker specialized in architecture, "I realized that filming architecture was a interesting way to approach it".

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Roberto Burle Marx
Mentioned project: "Fazenda Vargem Grande"
Project location: Serra da Bocaina, Brazil
Production: Pedro Mascaro Imagens
Music: Stardiva - Modern Classical

Brazil 2018
Duration: 2'44"