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Oscar Niemeyer: The Latest Architecture and News

Château La Coste Inaugurates Pavilion Designed by the Late Oscar Niemeyer

© Stéphane Aboudaram, WE ARE CONTENT(S), 2022
© Stéphane Aboudaram, WE ARE CONTENT(S), 2022

Château La Coste inaugurates a pavilion designed by Oscar Niemeyer, representing the last project drawn by the renowned architect before he passed away in 2012. Set amongst a vineyard, the curved structure features a glazed gallery space, accompanied by an 80-seat auditorium placed within a cylindrical volume. Emphasizing the pavilion's connection with the surrounding landscape is a shallow pool that brings a new dimension to the project through the interplay of light and reflections.

Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?

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).

Google Arts & Culture Opens Free Virtual Exhibition About Brasília

After launching virtual exhibitions about Parma (Italy), Pittsburgh and Milwaukee (United States), and Lagos (Nigeria), the online platform Google Arts & Culturehas opened the virtual exhibition Brasília: um Sonho Construído (Brasilia: a Built Dream), which presents an immersive tour of the Brazilian federal capital designed by Lúcio Costa.

Curated by the National Museum of the Republic, the exhibition had the collaboration of the Public Archives of the Federal District, the Institute of Architects of Brazil, the Chamber of Deputies Museum, the Federal Supreme Court, and other organizations based in Brasília. Through images from Google Street View, visitors travel through the corridors of six museums in the capital in 360° virtual tours, including the Museu de Valores (Museum of Currencies), the Square of the Three Powers, and also the Supreme Federal Court building.

Copan Building by Oscar Niemeyer to Undergo Facade Restoration

One of Oscar Niemeyer's most famous projects, the iconic Copan building in downtown São Paulo, may finally have its restoration work started. After being negotiated for ten years, the project presented by a company hired by the building administration was partially approved by the Department of Historical Heritage (Departamento de Patrimônio Histórico - DPH) and the Municipal Council for the Preservation of the Historical, Cultural and Environmental Heritage of the City of São Paulo (Conselho Municipal de Preservação do Patrimônio Histórico, Cultural e Ambiental da Cidade de São Paulo - Conpresp).

Designed by Niemeyer together with Carlos Lemos, the building will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the beginning of its construction next year. However, it has been suffering from maintenance problems on the facade for almost two decades, such as infiltrations, falling tiles, disfiguring, detachment of concrete, and exposure of steel reinforcement, according to technical findings reported to the heritage agencies.

Enough with Copenhagen! It is Time for U.S. Cities to Learn From Models Closer to Home

Juan Miró, co-founder of Miró Rivera Architects reflects in an opinion piece on the value of American cities. Stating that "when we idealize cities like Copenhagen, we risk losing focus of the fundamental historical differences between the urban trajectories of European and American cities", the architect and educator draws a timeline of events and urban transformations, in order to explain why it would be more relevant to look on the inside when planning U.S cities, rather than taking examples from the outside.

Austin’s city fabric . Image © Ibai Rigbymap of Austin . Image Courtesy of Juan MiróCasa das Canoas by Oscar Niemeyer. Image © SkyscraperCityTeotihuacan. Image Courtesy of Juan Miró+ 10

Architecture in the United States Designed by Latin American Architects

Rafael Viñoly / Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Image © Groupe Canam [Wikimedia] Bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0
Rafael Viñoly / Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Image © Groupe Canam [Wikimedia] Bajo licencia CC BY-SA 3.0

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's Itamaraty Palace Captured by Paul Clemence

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.

© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence+ 26

Architecture Classics: Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Center / Oscar Niemeyer

© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti© Leonardo Finotti+ 13

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.

Cracks Threaten Oscar Niemeyer's National Library in Brasília

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.

© Eyrise© Eyrise© Eyrise© Eyrise+ 12

CRA Reveals BIOTIC, a 1-Million Square Meter Extension of Brasilia's Historical Master Plan

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.

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati+ 6

Free Coloring Book by Carmelina&Aurelio Features Projects From Oscar Niemeyer and Luis Barragán

© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio© Carmelina&Aurelio+ 12

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.

Spotlight: Oscar Niemeyer

Cathedral of Brasília. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte
Cathedral of Brasília. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte

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.

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. Image © Gili MerinOscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in the Principality of Asturias, Spain. Image © Iñigo Bujedo-AguirreNational Congress of Brazil. Image © Andrew ProkosCathedral of Brasília. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte+ 25

Interbau Apartment House Through the Lens of Bahaa Ghoussainy

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.

Architectural photographer Bahaa Ghoussainy explored the building and highlighted the complementary relationship between its uniform modernity and dynamic suspensions.

© Bahaa Ghoussainy© Bahaa Ghoussainy© Bahaa Ghoussainy© Bahaa Ghoussainy+ 16

The Strange House that Niemeyer Designed for Himself

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. 

MDDM Design Winning Proposal for Oscar Niemeyer’s Fair in Tripoli

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.

MDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDM+ 17

UIA and TSEZ Seek to Revive Niemeyer’s Abandoned Tripoli Site through International Competition

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.

Courtesy of TSEZCourtesy of TSEZCourtesy of TSEZCourtesy of TSEZ+ 12