To honor the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died today, we've selected few of his inspiring quotes. Take a moment to read his words, which truly advocate architecture's higher purpose, and remember the great work he accomplished...
Perhaps his most famous quote, which not only describes his work but also his way of life: "I deliberately disregarded the right angle and rationalist architecture designed with ruler and square to boldly enter the world of curves and straight lines offered by reinforced concrete. […] This deliberate protest arose from the environment in which I lived, with its white beaches, its huge mountains, its old baroque churches, and the beautiful suntanned women."
Vinicius de Moraes, a Bossa Nova legend (and composer of “The Girl from Ipanema”), met Oscar Niemeyer at the Café Vermelhinho in Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s. They first worked together on de Moraes’ play, "Orpheus of Conceição," in 1956 (Niemeyer designed the set). In light of Oscar's death, we bring you this short text, translated from the original Portugese, that Vinicius wrote in the 60s about his dear friend, Oscar.
There are few testimonials I have read that are as exciting as Oscar Niemeyer’s account of his experience in Brasília. 1 For those who know only the architect, the article could pass as a self-serving defense - the justified revenge of a father who, despite his gentle temperment, fought for his child[, his Brasilia - a city] at the mercy of the world. But for those who know the man, the article takes on even more dramatic proportions. For Oscar is not only the opposite of an activist, he’s one of the most anti-self-promotional beings I've met in my life.
His modesty isn’t, as it so often is, a shameful form of vanity. It has nothing to do with his down-to-earth expertise, which Oscar has thanks to his professional value and possibilities. It is the modesty of a creator truly integrated with life, who knows that there is no time to lose, that we need to build beauty and happiness into the world, because the individual is fragile and precarious. This poignant sentiment, of the fragility and precariousness of things, plays in Oscar in a higher key (only further highlighting the dignity of this man and artist); it’s never been a self-serving sentiment, but one for mankind in general, for whom he hopes to make a better future.
With his incredibly prolific portfolio of architecture, sculpture, furniture and design, the late Oscar Niemeyer truly left his mark on Brazil, and the world, over his 104 years. The Brazilian great is proof that quantity needn't destroy quality.
Check out the extensive list of Niemeyer's major works, after the break...
After being hospitalized, recovering, being hospitalized again, and then making a near-full recovery (even working from his hospital bed), famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has now taken a sharp turn for the worst.
Planned for completion in 2014, the iconic United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) is in the middle of a $1.876 billion refurbishment project, known as the Capital Master Plan, which seeks to update the aging building with a more safe, modern and sustainable work environment. Located on the 18-acre site that was donated by John D. Rockefeller in the 1950s, the Manhattan UNHQ was designed by an international team of eleven architects who worked together in a post-World War II world to create an landmark building through collaboration rather than competition.
Continue reading for more details on the Capital Master Plan.
As a follow up to last weeks coverage on the Rio Carnival 2012kick-off in Oscar Niemeyer’s newly renovated Sambadrome, we would like to share with you this stunning tilt-shift video capturing the essence of Rio de Janeiro and the colorful parade of the Carnival. You will also catch a glimpse of famous mosaic sidewalks of the Copacabana Beach Boardwalk designed by the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
Danica Ocvirk Kus shared with us her photographic work for Oscar Niemeyer‘s Niemeyer Center in Aviles, Spain. Known her work across Europe, her talent is very eloquently represented through these images of this highly admired and appreciated institution for the city. A full gallery of images can be viewed after the break.
The Niemeyer Center in Aviles, Spain is soon to be shut down for several months due to disagreement over its finances and irregularities in its spending. The cultural center opened a mere 8-months ago, designed by Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer and has been an admired and appreciated institution for the city. More after the break.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Berlin. The twentieth century changed nearly all cities, but perhaps none more so than Berlin. From its destruction in World War II that left few historic buildings intact to its division until 1989 that brought together the architecture of two competing ideologies into one city, Berlin’s modern and contemporary architecture speaks to a past that seldom accompanies such recent additions. The city is filled with new and wonderful architecture that might not have found space in other cities in Europe. With that in mind, we were unable feature all our readers’ suggestions on the first go around. We will be adding to the list in the near future, so please add more of your favorites in the comment section below. Once again, thanks to all our readers for your help.