The legendary Oscar Niemeyer has died, just shy of his 105th birthday. Even in the last few days of his life, the Brazilian architect who designed his country’s futurist capital kept working from his Copacabana beach penthouse apartment in Rio de Janeiro. He was considered a national icon.
Niemeyer’s legacy is heavily associated with his communist views. He was an enemy of Brazil’s military dictatorship from the nineteen-sixties to the eighties. Starting in the 1930s, his style evolved toward rounded buildings. His work added sensuality to modernism and fired a global enthusiasm, though his politics meant there were stretches when he was marginalised.
But, he said: “The ultimate task of the architect is to dream…
“Women’s curves have something of my architecture, like the curves of mountains. Whatever I’ve seen that interested me goes into it…
“Curves make up the entire Universe, Einstein’s curved Universe.”
Some called him a “sculptor of monuments”.
Fellow Brazilian architect Mauro Almada said: “Niemeyer’s imitators, none of them ever came close to him, because his architecture is impossible to copy. It is an extremely personal architecture. It didn’t create a school.”
Niemeyer had kidney and stomach trouble and then developed a lung infection this week which caused his death, the hospital said.
He was an atheist, though he built churches and mosques, winning the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Brasilia cathedral.
He was also a bohemian idealist whose first marriage lasted for 76 years, and which he followed by a second.
He said: “I’ve spent my whole life at a drawing board, but life is more important than architecture.”
He also spoke of a “fantastic Universe which humiliates us… in the end, you are born, you die, that’s it!”
Though Niemeyer fit in plenty in between.
- Palacio da Alvorada - Brasilia (Brazil), opening in 1958
- Copan - Sao Paulo (Brazil), opening in 1966
- Metropolitan Cathedral - Brasilia (Brazil), opening in 1970
- The Arnoldo Mondadori S.p.A. headquarters - Milan (Italy), opening in 1975
- National Congress - Brasilia (Brazil), opening in 1987
- Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) - Niteroi (Brazil), opening in 1996
- Niemeyer Center - Avilies (Spain), opening in 2011
- Niemeyer Museum - Curitiba (Brazil), opening in 2003
Slideshow of Oscar Niemeyer’s buildings
- 1Hungary summons French ambassador over border fence row
- 2Protesters angry over destruction of ‘Mephistopheles’ in St Petersburg
- 3Ukraine: angry clashes as bill adopted granting more autonomy in the east
- 4French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius slams Hungary’s ‘migrant fence’
- 5Poland ‘has located’ buried Nazi treasure train
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 5Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 6Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 7Latest News Bulletin
- 8Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10Why World Elephant Day matters
- 11International news | euronews, latest international news
- 12UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 13Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 14ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 15Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 16Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 17Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 18As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 19European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 20Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico’s Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
Wires > News
- 06:07 CET Malaysia police to question Mahathir on statements at anti-govt…
- 05:59 CET North Korea tells South not to crow about deal that ended standoff
- 03:58 CET Brazil convicts Odebrecht Group for slavery-like practices in…
- 03:13 CET Obama pushes for more U.S. ice-breaking might in Arctic
- 03:02 CET Israel slams Palestinians’ push to fly their flag at U.N.
- 03:00 CET At least five dead from Monday’s chemical plant blast in China -…
- 23:49 CET Pope to allow all priests to forgive abortion during Holy Year
- 23:07 CET U.S. drone kills six suspected militants in Pakistan