Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer


The architect that designed the government buildings of Brasilia, Oscar Niemeyer, is still active at the age of 104 and is undoubtedly the most renowned Brazilian architect and the most influential worldwide. He graduated as an architect from the School of Fine Arts in 1934. Oscar Niemeyer is known for his skilful use of reinforced concrete. In 1936 he was part of the group of architects that designed the Ministry of Health and Education in Rio de Janeiro. This project, which was based on Le Corbusier’s drafts, is considered to be one of the first landmarks of Brazilian modernist architecture. The brief time spent with Le Corbusier was significant in his career and according to Lucio Costa, it was responsible for the awakening of the genius inside Oscar Niemeyer.

Some of Niemeyer’s most renowned projects include the government buildings in Brasilia [1956-1960], the Pampulha Complex in Belo Horizonte (1940-1944), the Ibirapuera Park in Sao Paulo [1951], the French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris [1965] and the Contemporary Art Museum in Niteroi [1991].

In 1988, Oscar Niemeyer and the American architect Gordon Bunshaft were jointly awarded, the Pritzker Prize [the most prestigious architectural prize by the Hyatt Foundation in Chicago]. In the 1970’s, while exiled in France, Niemeyer started to dedicate himself to furniture design in partnership with his daughter, Anna Maria Niemeyer. He chose plywood to create his designs due to the potential of this material to create curved shapes integrating the supports and also for the easy assembly methods it provided. 

Acknowledgment of his furniture design was confirmed through the various exhibitions in Europe, which took place at the Georges Pompidou Centre, in Paris; the Cologne International Fair, in Germany; the Milan Furniture International Fair and the Chiostro Grande, in Florence, in Italy.

Designer exhibited in the Berlin [Stilwerk Mall], Lisbon [MUDE - Museum of Design & Fashion], Rio de Janeiro [Caixa Cultural], London [Embassy of Brazil], Brasilia [Caixa Cultural] and Salvador [Caixa Cultural] exhibitions