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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Architect Oscar Neimeyer

Oscar Neimeyer

"Not the straight angle that attracts me, nor straight, hard, inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve, the curves that find in the mountains of my country, in the course of its winding rivers, the sea waves, the body of the woman preferred. Curves is done throughout the universe, the universe of Einstein's curved." Oscar Neimeyer

For a career that has spanned nearly nine decades (and counting), one shouldn't be surprised by the sheer body of work that modernist architect Oscar Neimeyer has achieved. But it is also a phenomenal catalogue of work and so I had a difficult time today deciding on what images to use. Neimeyer is without a doubt my favourite architect. When I look at these images, I feel that there is a private but definite conversation going on between us in the same way that certain pieces of art and music speak to my soul. I can only imagine what it must be like to stand inside one of these buildings.

                                                     Stairwell: 1962 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brasil

Focusing primarily on the interiors of some of his more recognised buildings, they are as relevant today as the day they were when first scribed on graft paper. What strikes me most about Neimeyer's buildings is that their point is spiritual; that they inspire in us a call to celebrate the human experience and what could be a better legacy than that?

It's worth mentioning that, at the age of 102, Oscar Neimeyer is still designing buildings all around the world. Staggering, isn't it? 

Museum Oscar  Niemeyer, Brazil 2003
French Communist Headquarters, Paris, 1967-80

Update: 6th December 2012: Sadly, Oscar Neimeyer passed away, yesterday at the age of 104. Only last week, I read that he was designing trainers for Converse - dedicated to his craft, right until the very end. What a gift to the world, he was...



  1. Neimeyer's work looks amazing! I'd take a curve over a straight line any day too! That's one of the things I love about London. Unlike NYC which is on a grid, London's roads curve which seems elegant and inviting.

  2. Yes, London roads can be endearing if you know where you going... So you prefer curved lines? That's interesting. What I care about are clean lines - curved or straight.

    Aren't his interiors staggeringly beautiful? One may even describe them as spiritual which is curious when you take into account that he designed a fair number of government and munciple buildings. Perhaps that was the point?

    Who are the architects that you admire most?

  3. Just caught this...I agree in regards to clean lines. Government and municiple buildings, that's just crazy! I would love to wow you with a list of all my favourite architects but sadly I know nothing, zero, nadda zip about architecture. My husband just told me his favourite architects but I won't cheat! I look forward to reading about architects and more on your blog.


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