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 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=303374>
  • insomniamania

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

  • Gabriel Murillo Lanzi

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

    Only it .

    mourning this moment

  • Gerhard Dehls

    Wow what a legacy I dream of going to Brazil someday to see some of his best work.

  • Gafa

    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.

    • qwert

      Mentira, as pessoas com consciência, imunes a lavagem cerebral não gostam dele. Morreu tarde, espero que queime no inferno.

    • vbn

      As pessoas de mente livre e saudável não gostam dele. Espero que queime no inferno.

  • Did Gigazuri Daud


  • Paulo Coutinho

    “Life is a woman on the side and the rest is what God wants.”

  • Hyhong

    Now God have great Architect in Heaven

  • Agustín

    ArchDaily has to dedicate this week to his buildings!

  • JS

    a giant has passed, may he rest in peace.

  • KenNy

    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.

  • Pingback: Oscar Niemeyer | intently haphazard

  • Simon

    The last great modernist is gone…

  • Emil

    RIP! A great loss for the world :(

  • Fatima Diab

    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…

  • LR

    Nos plus sincères condoléances.
    Le dernier géant de l’architecture du 20ème siècle…

  • anja ivanovic

    oscar, thank you for all remarkable architecture that you left to this world.

  • Jon

    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…

  • Prof. Rokade Rajesh

    RIP Oscar Niemeyer, a big loss for the World and Architecture…..

  • max
  • Pouyan Mokhtarani


  • Masih Davari

    you inspired me a lot… RIP

  • Taeheon Kang

    ▶◀ May their souls rest in peace.

  • pomT JD


  • Bea Brandão

    We all thought he would never die. Indeed, I think he won’t.

  • qazi

    You’re the one

  • Pingback: Oscar Niemeyer | intently haphazard