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Oscar Niemeyer: The Latest Architecture and News

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 © MDDM MDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDM MDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDM MDDM 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 TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ Courtesy of TSEZ + 12

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).

The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.

Oscar Niemeyer's Rachid Karami Exposition Site Crumbling after Years of Neglect

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.

© Dima Stouhi © Dima Stouhi © Dima Stouhi © Dima Stouhi + 15

Four Stunning Renovated Apartments in Oscar Niemeyer-Designed Buildings

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.

Oscar Niemeyer to be Featured on the Streets of Rio

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.

Celebrating Oscar Niemeyer and His Masterworks Through a Photographic Lens

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.

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 Merin Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in the Principality of Asturias, Spain. Image © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre National Congress of Brazil. Image © Andrew Prokos Cathedral of Brasília. Image © Gonzalo Viramonte + 25

Iconic Columns in Modern Brazilian Architecture

Of Le Corbusier's five points of modern architecture (the ribbon window, free design of the façade and ground plan, a roof garden, and pilotis), pilotis are perhaps the most used element in Brazilian modern architecture.

Life after Serpentine: Second Lives of Architecture's Famed Pavilions

If the surest sign of summer in London is the appearance of a new pavilion in front of the Serpentine Gallery, then it’s perhaps fair to say that summer is over once the pavilion is taken down. The installations have gained prominence since its inaugural edition in 2000, acting as a kind of exclusive honor and indication of talent for those chosen to present; celebrated names from the past names include Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, and Olafur Eliasson.

Serpentine Pavilion 2015 / Selgas Cano. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion 2014 / Smiljan Radic. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion 2006 / Rem Koolhaas. Image © John Offenbach Serpentine Pavilion 2007 / Olafur Eliasson, Kjetil Thorsen, Cecil Balmond. Image © Luke Hayes + 20

Oscar Niemeyer's Unfinished Architecture in Lebanon May Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The unfinished Tripoli International Fair, designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the Lebanese capital, could become a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. Conceived in the 1960s at the request of the then President Fouad Chéhab, the fair remained a symbol of projected modernity for the country.

10 Images of Architecture Reflected in Water

This week we have prepared a selection of photographs in which reflections in water is used as the main compositional element. In these images, the surface qualities of the water play a fundamental role in giving the composition its final effect—either acting as a perfect mirror or giving a diffuse touch. Below is a selection of 10 images from prominent photographers such as Lu Hengzhong, Yao Li, and Nico Saieh.

© Nico Saieh © Yao Li © Lu Hengzhong © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG + 11

7 Shout-Outs to Architects in Rap Lyrics

© Messe Basel
© Messe Basel

About a month before he unveiled his eighth album Ye in June, Kanye West re-entered architectural conversation with the unexpected and mostly unexplained announcement that he intends to hire architects and industrial designers to staff an architecture practice connected to his Yeezy brand. An outspoken fan and admirer of contemporary architecture, Kanye’s fashion and design projects have been a major focus for him since shortly after the prodigious producer started making his own rap albums. Kanye’s architectural ambitions have been an interesting factor in the relationship between architecture and rap culture, which seems to be just coming into focus through programs like the Hip Hop Architecture Camps organized by Michael Ford’s Urban Arts Collective, and the research of Sekou Cooke. Architecture and rap music have influenced each other in ways we’re just starting to notice—with the connection between the two even revealed as consciously and conspicuously as rappers including references to notable architects in their lyrics.

How Important is the Name of a Renowned Architect to a Project?

From the Fundación Arquia Blog, architect José Ramón Hernandez brings us an article that reflects on projects that can only be appreciated because of who they were created by. If it weren't for the fact that they bear the signature of their illustrious creator, they most likely would have gone completely unnoticed or even despised.

Concrete Shells: Design Principles and Examples

Let's think of a paper sheet. If we tried to stiffen it from its primary state, it couldn't support its own weight. However, if we bend it, the sheet achieves a new structural quality. The shells act in the same way. "You can't imagine a form that doesn't need a structure or a structure that doesn't have a form. Every form has a structure, and every structure has a form. Thus, you can't conceive a form without automatically conceiving a structure and vice versa". [1] The importance of the structural thought that culminates in the constructed object is then, taken by the relationship between form and structure. The shells arise from the association between concrete and steel and are structures whose continuous curved surfaces have a minimal thickness; thus they are widely used in roofs of large spans without intermediate supports.

In structural terms, they are efficient because they resist compression efforts and absorb at specific points on their surface, especially near the supports — small moments of flexion.

Round-Up: The Serpentine Pavilion Through the Years

Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. Each of the previous eighteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 18th Pavilion, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.

Serpentine Pavilion 2013. Image © Neil MacWilliams Serpentine Pavilion 2000. Image © Helene Binet Serpentine Pavilion 2006. Image © John Offenbach Serpentine Pavilion 2015. Image © Iwan Baan + 38

No One is Born Modern: The Early Works of 20th Century Architecture Icons

In the ambit of architecture, much of the twentieth century is marked by a production that reads, in general, as modern. The foundations of this work have been the subject of discussion for at least six decades, bringing together conflicting opinions about the true intention behind the modern gestalt.