Skateboarders Transform Iconic Brazilian Architecture into Sensational Skate Parks

Gabe Zaldivar

Sometimes life resembles a giant playground. It doesn’t happen often enough. But sometimes someone hands you the keys to your whimsical wishes and says, have at it.

Brasilia celebrates 60 years since its inauguration as Brazil’s capital this year. And to commemorate the event, Red Bull teamed up with skateboarders Pedro Barros and Murilo Peres to honor some of the most iconic buildings around.

Both were granted unheard-of access, the ability to grind, skate and leap over the 13 structures conjured from the mind of architect Oscar Niemeyer.

“We used to look at Niemeyer’s works and dream of what would be possible if we could skate there,” Barros said to open the video.

Curiosity is slaked as the skaters traverse the region in search of thrilling gaps, ramps and rails. 

Architecture previously dedicated to captivating the mind becomes a singular skate park where suddenly the only constraints are the imagination.

Take the Palácio Tiradentes, for example. It takes courage and a little lunacy to look up at the helipad and the nearby rooftop and think, that looks like a suitable and reasonable gap.

But that’s what it becomes in a series of ollies into heaven as the skaters conclude the video with some of the more thrilling footage.

Pedro Barros performs during the video recording of Sonhos Concretos project in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on November 25, 2019
Photo Credit: Red Bull

The iconic Brasilia Cathedral and National Congress Palace suddenly become more accessible than ever.

“Brasilia didn’t have a skatepark and the best-known skate spots were Niemeyer buildings,” Barros said.

Back in 1956, then-president Juscelino Kubitshek needed an architect to craft the look and feel for what would be the nation’s capital.

The next few years culminated in Niemeyer creating an astoundingly singular city, one that ebbed and flowed like waves rather than sit stoically with also ran skyscrapers.

Pedro Barros and Murilo Peres perform during the video recording of Sonhos Concretos project in Niteroi, Brazil on November 21, 2019
Photo Credit: Red Bull

The man who built a capital once explained, “Right angles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man.”

There is perhaps no better way to celebrate his designs than bring to it a sport that has endured a love-hate relationship with Brazil.

Skateboarding remains unique in its own regard in that it often takes the action to the literal streets and into the surrounding communities.

For one epic video, some of the more remarkable designs become breathtaking skate parks. And the result is a sight to behold.