NorteShopping Rio de Janeiro

NorteShopping RJ, Brazil


Stained glass: 1,055 sq metres (11,356 sq ft)
Mosaic: 146 sq metres (1,572 sq ft)
Client: Centre Norte
Architect: Luis Carlos de Azevedo, LINDI

Brian designed 24 rooflights and a mosaic ceiling for the new and refurbished shopping centre in Norte, Rio de Janeiro, one of the largest urban public art commissions In South America. Installation was completed in the spring of 1996. The grand court of NorteShopping is the focal point of the whole complex, where a 140 square metre ring of mosaic interacts with the central stained glass skylight. The motif of ribbons uses text, the words of which are snatched from the expressions of Carnival. The ribbon weaves and twists into both the mosaic and the stained glass.

A monumental back-lit stained glass canopy spans the entrance to NorteShopping. Visitors to NorteShopping are greeted by the experience of walking beneath this installation, a foliate canopy which gives an introduction to the rest of the composition. Here a serpentine strip of blue glass weaves through and beside a green swathe, like a river through a jungle punctuated by blooms or exotic birds. The circles of colour in the rooflights express an abstract narrative which moves down the mall like a Mardi Gras procession. When transmitted onto the floor, by the strong tropical sunlight, a coloured footpath is formed, like vibrant stepping-stones.