For 70 years, Brazilian architecthas plied his trade by a simple maxim. The 103-year-old designing icon developed a distinctive style, using concrete in sweeping curves. His stylized swoops earned him the right to design an entire city in the South American country. The city, called Brasilia, serves as Brazil's capital. He continuously bragged that his bold futuristic designs were inspired by the curves of Brazilian women.
With more that 600 buildings around the world as a testament to his craft, Niemeyer celebrated his 103rd birthday by opening a museum of his work outside of Rio de Janeiro in the city of Niteroi. The museum features his drawings and models from throughout his career. For those with any knowledge of Niemeyer's influence in architectural circles, know that he designed the United Nations building in New York City.
"My friends have come to see me, how nice," Niemeyer told reporters at the inauguration of his museum on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at the opening ceremony.
Niemeyer designed the museum, which features the sensuous concrete curves that define his distinctive modernist style and have made him one of the world's most famous architects. Niteroi already boasts a number of classic Niemeyer buildings, including a contemporary art museum and a theater.
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Neimeyer learned his craft as a student of the French architect. To this day, Niemeyer continues to work and add to the collection of building designs using his developed technique for dramatic architecture. His architectural era began in the 1940s in Pampulha, where Niemeyer created a style that was revolutionary at the time. While Le Corbusier paid homage to the right angle, Niemeyer chose the curve. A church he designed vaulted through the landscape like some giant skateboard track. The architect later became famous for his equation: "mountains/waves/women = curves."
"Oscar thinks of higher or lower things, but never simply straight ahead," says one of his closest friends, the physicist Ubirajara Brito.