Estação Julio Pretes e Sala São Paulo
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Estação Julio Pretes e Sala São Paulo

The World > South America > Brazil > Sao Paulo

Tags: event, museum, theatre

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Sala São Paulo -Sede da Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo

A antiga estação de trens da Estrada de Ferro Sorocabana abriga hoje o Complexo Cultural Júlio Prestes, sede da maior e mais moderna sala de concertos da América Latina: a Sala São Paulo.

Especialmente construída para receber as melhores orquestras sinfônicas do mundo, a Sala São Paulo tornou-se realidade após o trabalho de recuperação do monumental edifício da Estação Júlio Prestes, construído no estilo Luís XVI, marcado pela sobriedade dos ornamentos e detalhes.

Projetado em 1925 – período em que a cidade, estimulada pelo café e pela ferrovia, crescia em ritmo acelerado – o edifício somente seria concluído em 1938, quando a urbanização de São Paulo já se caracterizava pela presença de automóveis, inibindo a utilização de bondes e trens.

O trabalho de recuperação do edifício acompanhou a reestruturação da Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, sediada atualmente no mesmo prédio da Sala São Paulo. A solução encontrada para as intervenções realizadas nesse prédio histórico, concebido de acordo com princípios específicos de um estilo e época, baseou-se na intenção de estabelecer um diálogo adequado com o espaço existente, valorizando os conceitos e as características de uma construção anterior, ajustando-a a uma utilização distinta da original, que veio atender a uma demanda da sociedade contemporânea, adequando-se à proposta de revitalização.

O projeto da Sala São Paulo possibilita a apresentação de qualquer tipo de concerto, pautada pela alteração do espaço da sala de concertos gerada pela flexibilidade do forro com painéis móveis. Além disso, os elementos de composição foram concebidos para a reflexão sonora multidirecional, atendendo a recomendações acústicas.

A monumental railway station located downtown, it was inspired by the American stations of Gran Central and Pennsylvania. Built in 1926, it is located at Praça Júlio Prestes ("Julio Prestes Square"). One of its most interesting characteristics is that its platform was built with the metal structure from the Zeppelin hangar in Rio de Janeiro.

Since July 1999, Estação Julio Prestes has been housing the headquarters of Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo ("Symphonic Orchestra of São Paulo"). Its big halls have been transformed into a modern concert room, and its rooms are the home of a music school. The Government of the State of São Paulo was responsible for its restoration.

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Overview and History

Sao Paulo is the biggest city both in Brazil and the southern hemisphere, even bigger than Rio. It's mega-sprawling like Los Angeles. By some estimates Sao Paulo has 27 million people, surpassed only by Tokyo. If Godzilla would only win for once, Sao Paulo might become THE biggest city. Whoa!

Sao Paulo is the financial center of South America, and in turn its center is the stock exchange downtown on Paulista Avenue. Here's the 1892 viaduct linking the old downtown with what later became the new downtown.

Sao Paulo was founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1554. The economy here began with coffee exports from plantations worked first by slaves and then by European immigrants. The Mansion of Rosas, from 1930, is one of the last big ones built during the wealthy coffee period.

Brazil is part of the "Mercosul" business community,which is the Common Market of the South. This is a trade zone roughly equivalent in purpose to the EU, African Union, Asia-Paficic Economic Cooperation, or the Security and Prosperity Partnership in North America.

It snowed once, in 1918.

The city government of Sao Paulo is located inside the Palace of the Bandeirantes. The Palace is named after the legendary Bandits who fought deep into the middle of South America, to expand the territory of Brazil in the eighteenth century. Here's a look at the interior, too.

With all this commerce and activity flying around, it's natural that Sao Paulo is a huge center for business tourism. The city has the capacity to host hundreds of conventions PER DAY at any of the hotels, conference centers, sports arenas, etc. Here's an auto exhibition in the Anhembi Park Pavillion.

But there is still a lot of history to explore here, even in the middle of the high-tech world around you. Anchieta Museum was originally a school for teaching religious subjects to native Brazillians, built 1554.

The University of Sao Paulo's College of Law was founded in 1827 and is the oldest law school in Brazil. Twelve Brazillian presidents and countless other administrators have attended.

Getting There

Sao Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport is a small city all by itself. It's got 53,000 employees and the only bigger cargo hub nearby is in Mexico City, man!

Travel to the airport by bus takes about 45 minutes, you can rent a car there or park in the long term parking lots, as usual for any large airport city with 53,000 employees.

Traffic can get gnarly so allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport when it's time to leave. Remember, 53,000 people can make a decent little rush hour all by themselves.

Transportation

First, some scenery with style: here's the Julio Prestes railway station now converted into a concert hall. The Station of Light or Estacao de Luz connecting with the metro system and also housing the Museum of the Portugese language. The Boiler House, a recovered industrial space now used for cultural events.

There is a metro system here but it is not as comprehensive as in a place like Tokyo. Buses are the main way to get around, along with street taxis and radio-dispatch taxis. The latter are more reliable if you're not fluent in Portugese yet.

People and Culture

Overall, Sao Paulo is the most ethnically diverse city in Brazil, and it has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan (Liberdade neighborhood).

And what do these diverse people do to celebrate? They have Carnaval!

Brazil has the best Carnavale in the world. There's no way in hell we can come anywhere close to describing it, not even with panoramas and thousands of words plane tickets caiparinhas and a jar of tiger sweat. Preparations alone go on for weeks.

It happens for 4 days before Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent, when people must give up the pleasures of the flesh.

There are lots of other major events happening here throughout the course of the year.

The annual Sao Paulo gay parade attracts upwards of 1.5 million people, and it's not just a little afternoon thing. The events surrounding the parade take up an entire month with street fairs, film festivals and crazy parties. This is the world's largest LGBT event! WORLD's LARGEST!

Sao Paulo fashion week attracts designers from all over the globe, and the Festival of Electronic Art invites digital media-makers to assemble en masse and tweak parameters together.

Sports fans pay attention! The Brazillian F1 Grand Prix is on a level with the Tour de France or the Kentucky Derby in world sporting. Drivers don't love the bumpy streets but fans come out in droves to watch, and 99% of them survive.

Things to do & Recommendations

Well, you've got twelve thousand restaurants, seventy museums, two hundred cinemas, and fifty theaters to choose from.

The Municipal Theater has the distinction of being the place where Hamlet was first performed, bringing Shakespeare to Sao Paulo as of 1911.

Shopping? Check out Oscar Friere street for Godiva, Versace, Armani and all of Louis Vuitton's other friends.

After you get thirsty from carrying all those bags, dip into Campos do Jordao for a cold beer. They brew their own.

A few gallery pointers -- State Art Gallery with modern exhibits from the 19th century until now, MASP Museum of Art Sao Paulo, Tomie Ohtake Institute for gooey plastic hyper-modern stuff.

For Nature and wildlife... well I guess the rainforest pretty much wins in this category, but on your way into the jungle you can poke your head into the Sao Paulo Aquarium.

Right within the city there's some nice green space in Ibirapuera Park. Two square kilometers and it's still only the second biggest park in the city! Get ready for this list of what it contains: a planetarium, Astrophysics School, Villa de Osos Bacalao (a building shaped like a horse!!), five convention-center pavillions, Air Force Museum, Agricultural Palace, Gymnasium, running tracks, Obelisk and fourteen million blades of grass.

Cool local favorite pub: "Jazz in the Deep Ones" where you can find live music and no liquor laws.

Lastly, how many times do I have to tell you? Go up to the top of the tallest thing you can find and look around. It'll be worth more than anything you can buy.

Text by Steve Smith.

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