Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (December 15, 1907 – December 5, 2012), known as Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian Portuguese: [ɔʃˈkaʁ ˈniemajeʁ]), was a Brazilian architect whois considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city which became Brazil'scapital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highlyinfluential on the architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", Niemeyer was praised for being a great artist and one of thegreatest architects of his generation by his supporters. He said his architecture was strongly influenced by Le Corbusier, but in an interview, assured that this "didn't prevent [his] architecturefrom going in a different direction". Niemeyer was most famous for his use of abstract forms and curves that characterize most of his works, and wrote in his memoirs:
“ | I am not attracted tostraight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness ofits rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein. | ” |
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer wasschooled at the city's Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, and after graduating worked at his father's typography house, as well as a draftsman for local architectural firms. In the 1930s, he interned with LúcioCosta, with the pair collaborating on the design for the Palácio Gustavo Capanema in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer's first major project was the design of a series of buildings for Pampulha, a planned...