An iconic example of celebrated Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s work, this arts center is part of Belo Horizonte’s spectacular Pampulha Modern Ensemble.
To gain a better appreciation for the life and work of renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, visit the marvelous Casa do Baile. Be prepared to be stunned by one of the greatest architectural highlights of Bela Horizonte, located within the Pampulha Modern Ensemble. This complex was designed by Niemeyer to be the centerpiece of a visionary garden city and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Casa do Baile was built in 1943. Its name translates to “Dance House,” as a dance hall once stood in the same spot. Notice how its position at the edge of Lagoa da Pampulha, a manmade lake, is complemented by the building’s curved, flowing form that mimics the movement of the water.
Sit in the modern, airy Café do Baile to be treated to perfect views out over the serene lagoon, which lies at the heart of the entire architectural complex. Leafy parks and a popular jogging path surround the water. Stay until after nightfall and listen to one of the bands that regularly play on the patio under the stars.
Move away from the building’s mesmerizing exterior and discover one of the rotating art exhibitions held inside the building. Come on a Tuesday evening, when the weekly Circuito Pampulha Noturno sees multiple venues in the neighborhood come alive with cultural events. As well as Casa do Baile, venues include Casa Kubitschek, the Yacht Tennis Club, the Brazilian Football Museum and CAT Veveco and the Dino Barbieri and Dalva Simão squares. Past Tuesday night events have featured acoustic concerts, samba workshops, gourmet tastings and performances of Brazilian “seresta” music, a romantic genre that is closely tied to the “modinha” style.
As with many cultural attractions, Casa do Baile is open every day except Monday. See it at its best toward the end of the day, when the setting sun hovers over the edge of the lagoon and casts beautiful shadows through the winding portico.