Featured Image Source: cralize, Under Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Estação_da_Luz.jpg
Estação da Luz is the main railway station of the Luz neighbourhood and an important hub for metropolitan trains and the metro network in the city of São Paulo. The building also hosts the Museu da Lingua Portuguesa, the Museum of the Portuguese Langauge, (source). The building is one of the most important historical monuments of the city.
The first station was built in 1867 to allow coffee from Santos to enter the city and transport people. As the city grew the station became indicate for the bustling metropolis. Thus a new station larger station was needed. The old station was demolished and the new station was built in 1901 by English Architect Henry Driver. The building was first assembled in Glasgow and then disassembled, shipped to São Paulo to serve its purpose, which it has done for over 100 years.
The building is built in a Victorian style, more specifically in a Neo-classical style. The Neo-classical style is usually symmetrical and has a strict formal rhythm throughout the facade. The facade is usually dictated by aesthetical qualities rather than functional ones, (source). These qualities can be seen in the station’s facade. There is a rhythm to the windows, use of columns and ornamentation. The buildings large clock tower is one of the most eye-catching parts of the building, and for a long time was one of the tallest landmarks in the city. The building is clearly inspired by other stations from the United Kindom like St. Pancras station in London. As with many stations from the Victorian era, Luz station has a classical facade done in a respected architectural style, whereas the platforms are roofed by a modern (in Victorian times) roof made primarily of iron and glass. The station follows the principles of Victorian-era station design.
The 1940’s the building was partly rebuilt after a fire and a new floor was added to the building, (source). Until the 1950’s Brazil had an extensive intercity rail system, of which Luz station was an important node. Though with the coming of the car, bus and aeroplane the intercity rail system fell out of favour. During the 1960’s and 1970’s the railway station and the neighbourhood in which it stood became synonymous with a crack epidemic that swept the area, (source).
In the 1990’s the station was repaired and people started to use the station for its intended use, travel, (source). Furthermore, the Museum of the Portuguese language came to the building in 2006, giving the building a new function and importance in the city, (source).
The building has been with São Paulo through the tough times and has had to reinvent itself and find new meaning in the every changing urban fabric of the city.
–ArchiTravel. (2016, April 7). Luz Station. Retrieved April 15, 2018
–Brazil My Country. (n.d.). Estacao da Luz (Luz Station). Retrieved April 15, 2018
–Kerrigan, S. (n.d.). 21 Of the Most Stunning Train Stations Around the World. Retrieved April 15, 2018
–Sachse, E. (2013, January 24). Inside Luz Station, Brazil’s Ellis Island. Retrieved April 15, 2018
–Study.com. (n.d.). Victorian Architecture: Characteristics & Style. Retrieved April 15, 2018
–Wikipedia. (n.d.). Luz Station. Retrieved May 21, 2018
–Wikipedia. (n.d.). Museum of the Portuguese Language. Retrieved April 15, 2018