Architecture is all about passion. Sometimes it can be very complex, slow, even painful… but our passion will make us push until the end, to see our creations come to reality no matter what. This passion turns into an entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration and the desire to use our knowledge to influence our society and to improve our built environment. For me, one of the best living examples of the passionate architect is the Brazilian master Oscar Niemeyer.
Today the master turns 104 years old, and he is still working at his office in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, from where we interviewed him, delivering projects in Brazil and around the world. So passionate about his work, that he can’t stop.
Devoted to architecture and women, he was able to express his passion for both.
mountains/waves/women = curves
It is not the right angle that attracts me. Nor the straight line, tough, inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free, sensual curve. The curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the waves of the sea, in the clouds of the sky, in the body of the favorite woman. Of curves is made all the universe.
Passionate about how architecture could have a bigger role in society, Oscar Niemeyer was involved in politics. He played a key role in realizing the vision of the new Brasil by organizing the competition for Brasilia, the new capital, along with several of its buildings. His strong political views forced him to live in exile during the military regime (1966), which enabled him to work on a broader international scale: France, Italy, Lebanon, Algeria and Malaysia. Later, back in Brasil, he was the president of the Brasilian Communist Party (92-96). No matter how hard it was at times, Niemeyer’s passionate political involvement helped him perserve to see his ideals about architecture and society realized.
In 1988 the master was recognized with the most prestigious award in architecture, the Pritzker Prize, among many other recognitions during his prolific career.
So today we want to say happy birthday Oscar Niemeyer, and thanks for inspiring us through your passion.