“I once wrote a poem about the curve. The curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean and on the body of the beloved woman.”
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century’s most famous modernist buildings, has died just before his 105th birthday.
He rose to international fame as the architect of the main government buildings in the futuristic Brazilian capital, Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960.
He died on Wednesday at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Oscar Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s, when Brazil was still copying neoclassical European architecture and designing ornate palace-like buildings. Niemeyer said his stylised swoops were inspired by Brazilian women’s curves. His bold futuristic designs in Brasilia made the new capital a dramatic statement of confidence in the future of Brazil, and an icon of modern architecture. A student of Le Corbusier, he developed a distinctive style defined by stark concrete and sweeping curves.
“When you have a large space to conquer, the curve is the natural solution,” he said.
In 1988, he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize.
Niemeyer went on to create more than 600 buildings around the world. His legacy endures in museums, monuments, schools and churches in Brazil and beyond.
via BBC News