ARCHITECT: Oscar Niemeyer NATIONALITY: Brazilian

1.0 LIFE AND TIME 1.1 BORN: Rio de Janeiro in 1907 1.2 DIED: Today Niemeyer is 98 1.3 FAMILY: He belonged to a poor family. Married Annita Baldo. 1.4 EDUCATION: Concluded his secondary education at age 21. He started to work in his father’s typography house and entered the Escola de Belas Artes, from which he graduated as engineer architect in 1934. 1.5 PROFESSION: He started working in the architecture studio of Lucio Costa and Carlos Leao. In 1945, he joined the Brazilian Communist Party. During the military dictatorship of Brazil his office was raided he was forced into exile in Europe.

1.6 INFLUENCES: Niemeyer was a boy at the time of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and by the Second World War he became a young idealist. He visited the USSR, met with diverse socialist leaders. In 1939 Niemeyer traveled with Lucio Costa to design the Brazilian pavilion in the New York World’s Fair. In Pampulha, Niemeyer started to mark his style: he used the structural properties of the armed concrete to give sinuous forms to the building. In 1947, his world wide recognition was confirmed when Niemeyer traveled to the United States to design the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. Later his work hindered in Brazil, Niemeyer moved to Paris. There he started a new phase of his life and workmanship.

2.1 He was a pioneer in exploration of the constructive possibilities of reinforced concrete. Although he was a defender of utilitarianism, his creations did not have the blocky coldness. His buildings have forms so dynamic and curves so sensual that many admires that he is more monumental as a sculptor than as an architect. 2.2 In an essay ‘My Architecture’ Niemeyer talks about his own works. "I divide my architecture up into five different periods; first Pampulha, then from Pampulha to Brasilia, after that Brasilia, followed by my work overseas, and, last but not least, my most recent plans".
"I have never commented on the influence of events in the world of architecture on

these periods or on my thinking as an architect. Today, looking back at my work, I have a better understanding of why, in all five phases, it undeniably contains an element of rebellion".

"It all began with my first thoughts on Pampulha. I consciously ignored the highly praised right angle and the rational architecture of T-squares and triangles in order to wholeheartedly enter the world of curves and new shapes made possible by the introduction of concrete into the building process". "Some of my best buildings are outside of Brazil. With the Headquarters of the French Communist Party I showed how important it is to maintain a harmonious relationship between volume and open space". "When planning the government buildings for Brasilia I decided they should be characterized by their own structures within the prescribed shapes. In this way, the smaller details of rationalist architecture would vanish in the face of the overpowering shapes of the new edifices". "I tried to push the potential of concrete to its limits, especially at the load-bearing points which I wanted to be as delicate as possible so that it would seem as if the palaces barely touched the ground". "Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live."

 New Museum at Curitiba (Brazil), 2002
o The complex is formed by two independent buildings, connected for the sinuosas slopes that lead to its interior Completely opposing forms - while in one the straight angle predominates (rectangle of 200 m x 30 m in concrete), in the other the sinuosity is distinguished - the two if they complement as organization. Eye almost has the character of a sculpture while the rectangle is more the form the service of the function. Both present, however, monumental character.



Interior of the great eye

The panel in ceramic coating was drawn by Niemeyer

Museum has monumental scale, with closings in glass

 Ibirapuera Audience
Place São Paulo, SP Beginning of the project 2002 Conclusion of the workmanship 2005 Constructed area 7.000 sq. mts. Conceived for the presentation of musical spectacles, the Ibirapuera Audience possesss simple volumetria. Simplicity takes in account the composition with two buildings of pure and white volumes.


The grate of the air-conditional one is hidden in opening

The scale of the covering of the entrance gives the monumental tone to the building

Detail of one of the dressing-rooms

 Cathedral of Brasilia 1960–1970

The cathedral has sixteen curved columns and a stained glass interior. Standing near the entrance are four large statues known as the Four Evangelists. In his architecture, Niemeyer combined modernist techniques and materials with curving lines and free use of forms of the Brazilian baroque period.

 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2003
Hyde Park, London

The pavilion is a temporary structure erected for special events on the gallery's lawn from June to September. This is the first structure in Britain by the 95-yearold Brazilian architect.

The building, in metal, repeats the curves and the search of the slightness that characterizes the workmanship of Niemeyer


Chronology Of Works
YEAR 1939 1939 1940 1943 1951 1951 1952 1954 1954 1963 1963 1970 1980 1985 1987 1988 1996 2003 PROJECTS Assumed the leadership of the team of architects including Lúcio Costa, Carlos Leão, Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Jorge Moreira, Ernani Vasconcellos with Le Corbusier acting as a consultant Brazilian pavilion in the New York World's Fair Pampulha Ibirapuera Park Copan apartment building JK Building in Belo Horizonte Built his own house in Rio de Janeiro Niemeyer luxury apartment building, in Belo Horizonte The Museum of Modern Art of Caracas Became an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects He received a Soviet prize, the Lenin peace prize Penang State Mosque in George Town Memorial Juscelino Kubitschek The Pantheon The Latin America Memorial Pritzker Architecture Prize Niterói Contemporary Art Museum Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion in Hyde Park London

The story of Architecture By Patrick Nuttgens Designing for New Society: International Style

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