Oscar Niemeyer : architect biography

famous architect : Oscar Niemeyer [page1] [page2]

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Oscar Niemeyer architect
Oscar Niemeyer architect
Oscar Niemeyer architect
Oscar Niemeyer architect
Oscar Niemeyer architect

Oscar Niemeyer

Five years later, in 1964, his political affiliation with the communist party forced him into exile in France. There Oscar Niemeyer constructed the building for the French communist party. With the end of the dictatorship Oscar Niemeyer returned to Brazil, teaching at the university of Rio de Janeiro and working in private practice.

Recognized as one of the first to pioneer new concepts in architecture in this hemisphere, his designs are artistic gesture, with underlying logic and substance.

His pursuit of great architecture linked to roots of his native land has resulted in new plastic forms and a lyricism in buildings, not only in Brazil, but around the world. For his lifetime achievements, the Pritzker Architecture Prize is bestowed.

Although semi-retired, Oscar Niemeyer still works at the drawing board and welcomes young architects from all over the world. Oscar Niemeyer hopes to instill in them the sensitivity to aesthetics that allowed him to strive for beauty in the manipulation of architectural forms.

Catedral- Metropolitana - '60
Its symbolic is altercated. Some say it is the thorncrown of Jesus, others think it's a blossom an others again say it looks like praying hands. But it is sure a masterpiece of Oscar Niemeyer. In front of the subsurface entrance there are modern stone-sculptures posed who should depict the "Four Disciples".

The Entrance lies in the shadow to lead the believers from the darkness into the light. The interior is kept very artless, no embellishments and decoration destroy the ruminant atmosphere. One Altar, bright chairs and three big angelfigures made of Joao Ceschiatti which are hanging under the astrodome - that's all.

Congresso Nacional - '72
The Congresso Nacional is Niemeyer's masterpiece. Here you can see the architectural concept of the convex and concave lines. The Utopian element of the flying saucers prove his aversion about the straight models of architecture. In the interior you can see numerous works of art and valuables.

related links

Oscar Niemeyer - Great Buildings Online
Oscar Niemeyer. A Legend of Modernism

Palacio do Itamaratv - '43
The State Department is one of the most stylish buildings of Brasilia. Thin bows come up out of the water and seem to become larger in the refleaing water. In the bassin a sculpture of a meteor depicts the five parts of the world. At one side of the Itamarati appears a small, longish building which is made of hundreds of yellow, orange and brown tiles,, This was made of Sergio Bernades, the most liked architect of the president. Bernades was not afraid that Oscar Niemeyer became the only architect of Brasilia.

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His own House - '53
The house that Oscar Niemeyer built for himself in 1953 is an excellent example of Freeform Modernism, and an example that could only exist in Brazil. While the thin, flat roof slab and floor-to-ceiling glass walls are certainly central elements of many classic Modernist buildings particularly Mies's Famsworth House and Philip Johnson's Glass House, the curvilinear outlines in Niemeyer's residence are uniquely expressive of Brazilian heritage. The Colonial Baroque architecture that dominated Brazil before is very curvaceous, as is its local artwork. Moreover, the eroded hills, winding rovers and shorelines, and rolling landscape of Brazil itself are a clear inspiration for the forms in Niemeyer's work. As the architect himself states, 1943: Residencia Peixoto, 1943: Itamatary Palace, 1959: Pantheon, 1960: Catedral Metropolitana, 1960: Congreso Nacional, 1972: Le Havre Cultural Centre,1996: Apartamentos Building (Rio), 1996: Lady of Fatima

The Creator's Words
"Architecture must express the spirit of the technical and social forces that are predominant in a given epoch; but when such forces are not balances, the resulting conflict is prejudicial to the content of the work and to the work as a whole. Only with this in mind may we understand the nature of the plans and drawings which appear in this volume. I should have very much liked to be in a position to present a more realistic achievement: a kind of work which reflects not only refinements and comfort but also a positive collaboration between the architect and the whole society."

"I have always," says Oscar Niemeyer, "accepted and respected all other schools of architecture, from the chill and elemental structures of Mies van der Rohe to the imagination and delirium of Gaudi. I must design what pleases me in a way that is naturally linked to my roots and the country of my origin.

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Marcel Breuer | Mario Botta | Michael Graves | Oscar Niemeyer | Paolo Soleri | Renzo Piano | Richard Meier | Robert Venturi | Tadao Ando

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