Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer

On December 5, 2012, the pre-eminent Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer died at the age of 104. He was the creator of some of the most iconic architectural buildings and monuments built in the 20th century and was one of the last masters of this craft practiced by the likes of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.  His buildings may not have been very practical from the perspective of users or urban planners but they were a marvel of engineering, fantasy clothed in concrete which inspired budding architects all over the world.  His buildings in the newly built capital of the Brazil became symbols of an emerging nation and its  aspirations.  His architecture style brooked a new beginning which made a clean break from a colonial past or European pedigree.  Oscar Niemeyer once said, “Humanity needs dreams to endure misery, even if just for an instant,” and his buildings were that and more for the lovers of architecture.

Guardian UK provided some of the best coverage of his life and work at his death. In Oscar Niemeyer’s obituary Rowan Moore of Guardian said, “But he was far more than an image-maker. He was capable of structural daring, with the fullness of his buildings’ curves balanced by the impossible lightness with which they sometimes touch the ground. They are magnificent and playful.”

 Two days after Niemeyer’s death, Gaurdian’s Oliver Wainright in a piece titled Oscar Niemeyer: architects and critics pay tribute interviewed Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers.  Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi born British architect said, “His visionary work has had the deepest influence, with the highest degree of originality and spatial sensibility.  Norman Foster said that he was an inspiration to me and inverted the familiar dictum “form follows function”, by creating forms so beautiful that they became functional and therefore fundamental in architecture.  Richard Rogers said, “Oscar Niemeyer was one of the last great modern masters, alongside Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. He was an artist and poet and concrete was his natural material, allowing him to interpret his designs and free-flowing ideas.”

On Deember 5, 2012 Arch Daily celebrated Oscar Niemeyer in several posts:

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  1. Paolo Soleri Dreamt of Green Architecture Before its Time | PlaNYourCity - April 22, 2013

    […] the River Agua Fria.  His career was unorthodox,  resting somewhere between Lebbeus Wood and Oscar Niemeyer, both of whom also passed away […]

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