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Sunday, 03 October 2010 17:37

 

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Born: December 15, 1907

Full name: Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho

Nationality: Brazilian

Masterpiece: Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum

 

"It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman." - Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1907 in Laranjeiras neighborhood He concluded his secondary education at age 21. The same year, he married Annita Baldo, daughter of Italian immigrants from Padua. They have one daughter, Ana Maria, five grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

In 1938-39 he designed the Brazilian Pavilion for the New York World’s Fair in collaboration with Lucio Costa. His celebrated career began to blossom with his involvement with the Ministry of Education and Health (1945) in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer’s mentor, Lucio Costa, architect, urban planner, and renowned pioneer of Modern architecture in Brazil, led a group of young architects who collaborated with Le Corbusier to design the building which became a landmark of modern Brazilian architecture. It was while Niemeyer was working on this project that he met the mayor of Brazil's wealthiest state, Juscelino Kubitschek, who would later become President of Brazil. As President, he appointed Niemeyer in 1956 to be the chief architect of Brasilia, the new capital of Brazil, his designs complementing Lucio Costa’s overall plans. The designs for many buildings in Brasilia would occupy much of his time for many years.

In 1942, Niemeyer created a series of recreational buildings which borrowed extensively from the expressive Brazilian Baroque style of architecture. In 1956 Niemeyer was appointed architectural adviser to Nova Cap - an organization charged with implementing Lucio Costa's plans for Brazil's new capital. The following year, he became its chief architect, designing most of the city's important buildings. The epoch of Niemeyer's career, these buildings mark a period of creativity and modern symbolism.

Niemeyer continued to work on Brazilia until 1964 when his political affiliation with the communist party forced him into exile in France. In the late 1960s he resumed his career in Brazil, teaching at the University of Rio de Janeiro and working in private practice. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architecture in 1970.

In 1988 Oscar Niemeyer received architecture's highest honour - Pritzker Prize

 

"My architecture followed the old examples -beauty prevailing over the limitations of the constructive logic. My work proceeded, indifferent to the unavoidable criticism set forth by those who take the trouble to examine the minimum details, so very true of what mediocrity is capable of. It was enough to think of Le Corbusier saying to me once while standing on the ramp of the Congress: `There is invention here'." - Oscar Niemeyer

 

Notable work

1941 - National Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1943 - Church of St Francis, Pampulha, Brazil

1952 - Casa das Canoas, Rio de Janeiro

1962 - Ministry of Justice, Brasilia, Brazil

1987 - Memorial of the Aboriginal Peoples, Brasilia, Brazil

1980 - JK Memorial

1983 - Samba Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

1988 - London Bus Terminal, London, UK

1991 - Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2003 - City Administrative Building, Minas Gerais, Brazil

2006 - Cultural Complex of the Republic, Brasilia, Brazil

Information is used from: www.greatbuilding.com

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 04 October 2010 15:44
 

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