Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil’s Modernist Icon, Dies

  • 06 Dec 2012
  • by
  • Architecture News Editor's Choice
in front of the Palazzo Mondadori. Photo via Mondadori.com

After complications from a previous kidney condition   Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has passed away at Rio de Janeiro’s Samaritano Hospital.

For 104 years, Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares (December 15, 1907 – December 5, 2012) lived a life of “intensity.” Born in Rio de Janeiro, he is best known for helping to design the United Nations Headquarters in New York in 1947 and for designing much of the city of Brasilia. As he described his style:  “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…” He received the Pritzker Prize in 1988.

Niemeyer was one of those few architects who is recognized and admired by people from all walks of life, especially by those in his native Brazil, where he is considered an icon. Indeed, always motivated to design for his fellow man, Niemeyer was a Brazilian first, and an architect second.

In Niemeyer’s words: “It is important that the architect think not only of architecture but of how architecture can solve the problems of the world. The architect’s role is to fight for a better world, where he can produce an architecture that serves everyone and not just a group of privileged people.”

More about the legacy of the Master of Brazilian Architecture:

Cite: Basulto, David. "Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil’s Modernist Icon, Dies" 06 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=303374>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +16

    r.i.p. oscar. your body may rest but your works will be immortal.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -2

    Desire of live 104 years and a great reference for Brazilian architecture.

    Only it .

    mourning this moment

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    He was known and loved by every Brazilian. Rich or poor, white or black, educated or not. Few can say they have taught an entire nation about architecture.
    His work will forever embody Brazil’s motto: Order and Progress.
    Rest in peace Oscar! Voce merece.

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  4. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    A great Master who rise up at the right time and gave the world the best of it’s kind. Your legacy will live on for the new generation of architects to come including me. He He did not taught only his country Brazil but he taught the World a new way how to do Architecture. R.I.P Oscar.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Niemeyer quote:”It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve – the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.”… Oscar Niemeyer … Goodbye…

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    How can one live 104 year – working as a architect is really hard work, but I guess his love and passion for architecture was 100% real! R.I.P – we will miss you…

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