07 December 2012

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian Modernist, 1907-2012

Oscar Niemeyer

"The last Giant of the Architectural Modern Movement", Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, died Wednesday.

Niemeyer – with German ancestry – was not only the last living modernist master, like Le Corbusier and other of his contemporaries he was convinced that the world can be improved through architecture. (A bit similar to Prince Charles' architectural amibitions, but on a different level and without historic aping). 

Jörg Häntzschel in the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung admiringly states that Niemayer seemed to be able to negate gravity. He constructed huge apartment buildings on columns as slender as a woman's legs. Curvy paths lead from one floor to the other like connecting clouds. Railings were superfluous. 

Niemeyers buildings, over 600 commissions in total, were famous for their sensousness and their utopian abundance. He once commented the curves typical for his buildings were inspired by those of his wife. 

Now architect Architekt Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho passed away 10 days shy of his 105th birthday on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro.

A slideshow of his best-known works can be seen at Architectural Record.

Fotos: Reuters

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