Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho(born December 15, 1907)is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture. In the 1940s, '50s and '60s "he established himself as one of Modernism's greatest luminaries," while he “reshaped Brazil’s identity in the popular imagination and mesmerized architects around the globe."
As a young man, Oscar Niemeyer worked for his father at a typography house for a short while before entering the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, from which he graduated in 1934. Shortly before graduation, he joined the offices of Lúcio Costa, an architect from the Modernist school. Niemeyer worked with Costa on many major buildings between 1936 and 1943, including the design for Brazil's Ministry of Education and Health building, which was part of a collaboration with Bauhaus director Le Corbusier.
The corbusian influence is evident in the early works of Oscar Niemeyer. However, the architect gradually acguired his own style: the lightness of the curved forms created spaces that transformed the architectural scheme into something that was hitherto unknown; harmony, grace and elegance are the adjectives that are most appropriate to describe the work of Oscar Niemeyer. The adaptations produced by the architect to connect the baroque vocabulary with modernist architecture made possible formal experiences in spectacular volumes, executed by famous mathematicians including the Brazilian Joaquim Cardoso and the Italian Pier Luigi Nervi.
Oscar Niemeyer (1907) already warned us that he "felt in his hear, that life is more important than architecture. Or that the type of architecture that he preferred was one where courage and freedom of form were essential."
Modern architecture and responding directly to the forms of nature - meditated by abstract art - Niemeyer achieved an unsurpassed integration with the setting. House and garden were inseparable - the latter was designed by his friend Roberto Burle Marx, one of the major modern masters of the art.
His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. His works include public buildings designed for the city of Brasília, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City (with others).
Oscar Niemeyer is best known as the architect of the new capital Brasila. He came to international attention early with the design of the Brazilian Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1939, and in a group of leisure buildings - casino, yacht club, and restaurant - at the resort of Pampanga, completed four years later, achieved a fluidity that anticipated developments in Le Corbusier's own work.
Niemeyer began his career in the 1930s and has never stopped working. Along the way, he befriended legends such as Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek, French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The famed workaholic single-handedly designed dozens of government palaces, ministries and other major buildings in Brasilia, the country's capital, which was built from scratch during the 1950s.
He started to work in his father's typography house and entered the Escola de Belas Artes (Brazil), from which he graduated as engineer architect in 1934. At the time he had financial difficulties but decided to work without payment in the architecture studio of Lúcio Costa and Carlos Leão. He felt dissatisfied with the architecture that he saw in the streets and believed he could find a career there.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1907, Oscar Niemeyer is recognized as one of the world’s most fiercely original architects and the central figure of Brazilian architectural Modernism. The prolific designer of more than 600 buildings, Niemeyer has been in practice for seven decades. Architecture, he declares must be “functional, beautiful, and shocking.” Transgressing orthodox Modernist aesthetic doctrine and subverting hegemonic cultural models, his work privileged invention and affirmed spectacle and luxury, pleasure, beauty, and sensuality as legitimate architectural pursuits.
Born December 15, 1907 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oscar Niemayer grew up in a wealthy family without any aspirations toward being an architect, though he started drawing at an early age. "When I was very little," he later remembered, "my mother said I used to draw in the air with my fingers. I needed a pencil. Once I could hold one, I have drawn every day since." He graduated from Barnabitas College in 1923 and soon after wed a woman named Annita Baldo, to whom he would remain married until her death in 2004.