Many architects enter the profession with hopes of creating something that outlives them, something that is bigger than themselves, that can advocate for a better world. Oscar Niemeyer was such an architect, one who fought for designs that would serve everyone. The master of Brazilian architecture passed away one year ago after complications from a previous kidney condition. In honor of what would have been his birthday today, we’ve rounded up a few of his masterpieces, from his elegant and curvy Niterói Contemporary Art Museum, his collaboration on the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the traditional spectacle space of his Sambadrome, the spiraling Niemeyer Center in Aviles, and the powerful parabolic expression in his Cathedral of Brasilia. Enjoy!
It’s been exactly one year since the world first mourned the passing of a great master of 20th century architecture: Oscar Niemeyer.
After 104 years of life, the renowned architect left a profound legacy. His works - known for their impressive curves, embrace of light, and profound relationship to their surroundings – made him an icon. Not just in Brazil, but the world.
Night photographs of the Brazilian capital created by architectural photographer Andrew Prokos are among this year’s winners at the International Photography Awards competition. Entitled “Niemeyer’s Brasilia” the series of photographs capture the surreal architecture of Oscar Niemeyer, who shaped the Brazilian capital for over 50 years.
More fantastic photographs and information on the awards after the break.
Wearing masks with the faces of Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa, architects and urban planners swarmed the 50th Annual IAB (Institute of Architects of Brazil) Awards in Rio de Janeiro this week. The architects were protesting a contract the city government of Brasilia struck with a Singaporean firm to create an urban masterplan outlining the next 50 years of Brasilia’s future.
Architects: Projeto Paulista Arquitetura
Built Project Coordinator: Luis Mauro Freire
Design Team: Luis Mauro Freire, Maria do Carmo Vilariño, Fábio Mariz Gonçalves, Zeuler Rocha Melo de Almeida Lima, Eurico Ramos Francisco e Lívia Leite França
Project Area: 48,277 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Nelson Kon
Intending to create a new architectural reference for the region of Brasilia, the Multipurpose Complex becomes a new destination in the city. Designed by FGMF Arquitetos, the building creates a landmark in the landscape through the uses of retail, office buildings, and modular offices. More images and architects’ description after the break.
While known as the extraordinary city which Niemeyer built, Brasilia is not without its problems. As a recent BBC article noted, while Niemeyer’s architecture is certainly appreciated by its residents, the city itself (designed for the car) lacks a human-scale, mixed neighborhoods, and the vibrant street life which so defines Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo. The city is in need of a face-lift, but who should be responsible for Brasilia’s new face?
Well, if the debates and arguments at the XXIV Pan American Congress of Architects (XXIV CPA), which took place this November, are anything to go by, it certainly should not be those who have just been given the job.
Brasilia’s Government has contracted consulting company Jurong, based in Singapore, with designing a new Masterplan known as “Brasilia Plan 2060.” The move, which was taken with no outside participation or input, was criticized (loudly) – not only by Brazilian architects and urban planners, but by the majority of American and European professionals present at the XXIV CPA.
More details on this controversial move, after the break…
The construction of Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil and an icon of Brazilian Modernism, began in 1956. Initially planned by the urbanist Lúcio Costa for 500,000 inhabitants (today it holds 2.5 million), Brasilia gained fame for its remarkable buildings, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Today, Brasilia is the only 20th century city in the world to have been awarded the status of Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
In honor of the late Oscar Niemeyer, we’ve gathered some stunning black and white photos taken by Franco-Brazilian photographer Marcel Gautherot during the construction of Niemeyer’s emblematic buildings – including the Palácio do Planalto, Palácio de Alvorada (official residence of the President of Brazil), the Cathedral of Brasilia and the National Congress of Brazil. See them all, after the break…
Congresso Nacional dos Municípios (CNM) Headquarters Winning Proposal / Luis Eduardo Loyola and Maria Cristina Motta
The primary condition for the first prize winning design of the new headquarters of Congresso Nacional dos Municípios (CNM) is the creation of a metropolitan area in line with the urban context of the city of Brasilia. Designed by Luis Eduardo Loyola and Maria Cristina Motta, the project is embodied along an axis in the form of a white metallic volume floating gently on a concrete basement. The transparency of the volume creates a special relation with their surroundings. More images and architects’ description after the break.