Globalization and its pension for both virtual and physical connectivity has led to the linking of the world's economies, territories, and cultures and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of architecture.
Oscar Niemeyer: The Latest Architecture and News
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
In celebration of Oscar Niemeyer's birthday, on December 15, and to honor the work of one of the greatest modernists of the 20th century, American-Brazilian photo-artist Paul Clemence has released images of the architect’s iconic Itamaraty Palace. Housing Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters, the structure is also known as the Palace of the Arches.
The Cultural Center was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and named after him. It is located in the city of Goiânia in the state of Goiás, Brazil, and was built on a 26 thousand square meter flat land called Esplanada da Cultura, a square dedicated to concerts and events, paying homage to former President Juscelino Kubitschek. The complex consists of four geometrically pure buildings: a rectangle that holds a public library, a cylinder where the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is located, a dome that shelters the Music Palace, and a 36-meter-high pyramid that houses the Human Rights Monument.
The Leonel Brizola National Library, designed by Oscar Niemeyer —a building that integrates the Cultural Complex of the Republic, a cultural center located along the Eixo Monumental, in the city of Brasília, Brazil— is covered in cracks. The lack of preventive maintenance has caused several cracks throughout the building, according to an article published in the newspaper Metrópoles.
The cracks were identified by local firefighters on November 19th and have spread all over the building, especially on the walls of the elevator machine room and the roof. The library receives an average of 102,000 visitors per year, and the building administration has been notified of the problem. An inspection was carried out to determine whether there is any structural damage to the building.
An Oscar Niemeyer-Designed White Concrete and Glazed Sphere, Generates Extension for a Factory Canteen in Germany
Oscar Niemeyer’s latest work generated a spherical extension for the Kirow plant’s canteen in Leipzig, Germany. The architect was first approached by the factory’s owner in 2011, and following Niemeyer’s death in 2012, his sketches were further developed by assistant Jair Valera, and executed by Harald Kern Architects.
CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled a major extension for Brazilia, reinterpreting “Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist master plan for Biotic - a high-tech innovation district immersed in nature”. Developed in collaboration with Ernst&Young, the project that started in 2018 reimagines primarily the superblocks.
Carmelina&Aurelio Architecture Studio based in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas in Mexico, released a book with architectural illustrations to color. The book in PDF format is available on their website for free and consists of eight letter-size pages. Read on for the featured projects as well as examples of color palettes for further inspiration.
A Psychiatric Hospital and an Alternative Public Workspace: 10 Unbuilt Projects Submitted by our Readers
Focusing on competition entries, this week’s curated selection of the best-unbuilt architecture from our readers' submissions, highlights projects from across the globe, presented part of international contests. Some are winners, some are not but all of the featured schemes have an intriguing conceptual approach, and a different story to tell.
Tackling diverse programming, the entries include an urban public housing proposal in South Korea, the Dianju Village Library in China and a new Future-Oriented Neighborhood in Finland combining urban and sustainable living. Moreover, the article showcases rare and unconventional functions like a hospital for psychiatry & neurological diseases in Turkey and an intervention on a famed Oscar Niemeyer site.
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or simply Oscar Niemeyer, (December 15, 1907 – December 5, 2012) was one of the greatest architects in Brazil's history, and one of the greats of the global modernist movement. After his death in 2012, Niemeyer left the world more than five hundred works scattered throughout the Americas, Africa, and Europe.
For the 1957 International Builders Fair, Oscar Niemeyer developed the Interbau Apartment House, a modernist eight-storey building that sits on V-shaped pillars in the city of Berlin. While the building's facade consists of uniform windows and loggias clad with primary-colored mosaics, it is interrupted by enclosed pathways that connect the structure to the external elevator.
Oscar Niemeyer was a revolutionary of modernism, with an architectural language characterized by audacious curves and elaborated structures. The Brazilian architect established an architectural vision of a future utopian Brazil, one that ultimately has not come to pass. While public attention is often drawn to his masterpieces in Brasília, somewhat hidden from the architectural discourse is a house that Niemeyer designed for himself; a colonial-style scheme offering a radical departure from the expressive forms of his more noted works.
The international competition for the design of the Knowledge Innovation Center (KIC), part of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), selected the proposal of MDDM, a Beirut based architectural firm, as the winning project. Taking place in the Rachid Karami International Fair designed by Oscar Niemeyer back in the ’60s, in Tripoli, Lebanon, the imagined intervention had to be functionaly and conceptually compliant to specific requirements.
As part of Tripoli’s economic revival plan, the International Union of Architects (UIA), in collaboration with the Lebanese Federation of Engineers and Architects (on behalf of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone / TSEZ), the Union of Mediterranean Architects (UMAR), and the Lebanese Government, have launched an international architecture competition to create a Knowledge and Innovation Center in the northern city of Lebanon.
The proposed site is situated on an empty lot within Oscar Niemeyer’s abandoned Rachid Karami International Fair, a modernist exhibition complex that has yet to see the light of restoration. The objective of the competition is to create a technology and business hub which will foster and promote start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, attracting students, young graduates, local and international companies to Tripoli and the neighboring region.
Lebanon is home to several outstanding structures, influenced by centuries of architectural styles. However, one of the most intriguing projects in the Middle Eastern country lies in the northern city of Tripoli, a culturally-rich historical city with structures once inhabited by Romans, Crusaders, Phoenicians, and Ottomans. The Rachid Karami International Exhibition Center, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, reflects the slow deterioration from Lebanon’s pre-war golden age to post-war depression. The country's iconic modernist site has suffered after years of neglect and reportedly will require upwards of 15 million dollars to restore.
To live in a residence designed by a renowned architect is a dream for many, however, a dream that will most likely never come true. But, there is an alternative. Many architecture enthusiasts have rented or even bought apartments in iconic buildings designed by their favorite architects.
In regards to the work of Oscar Niemeyer, fluidity and flexibility may best express his plans and typologies.
Below, we've selected four apartments in buildings designed by Neimeyer that reinterpret his original plans.
The work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is currently being featured by the city of Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the month of January, mock-ups and engravings signed by the architect can be seen in Barra da Tijuca, in the city’s West Side. There, visitors can discover the history of Brazilian architecture and see some of Niemeyer's most famous work. The RioCVB created the exhibition to celebrate Niemeyer's legacy and showcase Brazil's landmark buildings.
To honor renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer’s birthday (December 15, 1907), Slovenian photographer Danica Kus published a series of black and white photographs highlighting Niemeyer’s surviving architecture. The architect, who passed in 2012 at the age of 104, is considered one of the greatest modernist architects of the 20th century.
Kus’ photographs accentuate the hyperbolic curves characteristic of Niemeyer’s design, while also highlighting the geometric harmony of rectilinear elements. In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily before his death, Mr. Niemeyer described his personal definition of architecture: “In my opinion, architecture is invention. And under this prism is how I do my projects, always searching for beautiful, expressive, different and surprising solutions.” This photo series encompasses the subtleties of Niemeyer’s premier works and spans his career.