Today, on the opening day of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, we celebrate some of the realms Brazil rules: soccer—they've got the most World Cup wins, after all—and architecture. (There are other things—string bikinis, coffee, the largest rainforest in the world, for example—but let's not touch those for now.) There's a jumble of architectural styles on the luxury market right now in the Cidade Maravilhosa: French Neoclassical, contemporary, and Imperial dwellings, to name a few. The most intriguing of the Rio listings? Well, if one's discounting the Airbnb offering listed by soccer stall Ronaldinho, it's just too hard to choose, so, below, find eight mansions in the running.
↑ Hilariously headlined as a "one-of-a-kind 'house on top of a building' penthouse," this three-story, 40,903-square-foot sprawl boasts views of Guanabara Bay and marble floors—and that's just the beginning. There's a private elevator, a coat room, a "vestibule"—a vestibule! what even is a vestibule!—a one-bedroom apartment for a live-in doorman, dry and wet saunas, a 24-person dining room, a winter garden, and oh my god it goes on. There's a "smoking room," a gallery, a butler's pantry, and two verandahs. It's all housed within an old Neoclassic French style manse commissioned by the same family who build The Copacabana Palace Hotel. The price is "upon request" which roughly translates to "a gazillion dollars."
↑ Over in Jardim Botânico, "one of the most idyllic districts of Rio de Janeiro," is this glass box of a megalomansion, where the master suite alone measures 1,195 square feet. Designed by contemporary firm Ruy Rezende Arquitecture, the 39,999-square-foot (precise!) estate is surrounded by the nature reserve and boasts a "panoramic" deck and a terrace with retractible windows. It's price? Upon request, of course.
↑ The exterior of this "charming imperial residence" in Rio's Itanhanga district is by far the best thing about the listing. Tomato red and nearly embedded into the rocks behind it, the property also includes a gazebo, a pergola, a well, and "a small lake with fishes and fountain."
↑ Described by the brokerbabble as both "dazzling" and "bucolic," this 12,486-square-foot colonial comes with a five-bedroom main house, 2,982-square-foot guest house, a lawn with fruit trees, a tennis court, and (of course!) a soccer pitch.
↑ This townhouse, by architect Claudio Bernardes, is utter Brazil, what with its glassy façade, open verandah, kidney-shaped pool, and midcentury profile. In all it's the perfect place, or so the brokerbabble writes, "to have such an amazing experience contemplating the beauty of the sea, mountains and the surrounding nature." Price? Upon request.
↑ Interior shots for Rio's Casa Rosa are scant, but the listing description for the Neoclassical mansion (and the few photos that are available) paint a pretty picture indeed. The 11,840-square-foot, 19th-century manse is "perched above one of the most renowned landscapes in Rio de Janeiro," on a "sun-drenched hilltop" surrounded by "century-old trees, manicured lawns," and a stone staircase. If that doesn't sound idyllic enough, there are views of Sugarloaf Mountain visible from its "sunny terraces" and stone patios, plus a winter garden. It's price is upon request.
↑ According to the brokerbabble, this contemporary duplex penthouse in Rio's Ipanema district—enjoy that song being stuck in your head for the next five hours— is "the definition of [...] an ambient of infinite refinement and comfort." The address? "Very privileged!" The interiors? "Entirely reformed." The terraces? "astonishing" with "one of the best views of Ipanema." The price? "Upon request." Other highlights of the 5,026-square-foot pad include an open verandah, a steam sauna, and a pool "amid audacious and imposing construction," whatever that means.
· All Rio de Janeiro listings [Christie's Real Estate]
· All Rio de Janeiro posts [Curbed National]
· All Brazil posts [Curbed National]
· This World Cup, Rent Soccer Star Ronaldinho's Mansion in Rio [Curbed National]