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img489img490Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012), the great Brazilian Architect was a true visionary who left his mark on Twentieth Century Architecture. Niemeyer was considered the last surviving Modernist Architect by many, who left an incredible legacy, a quasi native modern building style for Brazil. He also collaborated with Le Corbusier, the other great modernist architect, on the United Nations Building in New York. Below is a wonderful short film by Tony Chapman on Niemeyer speaking about the collaboration he had with Le Corbusier. Thank you ribaarchitecture for posting this on Youtube!

Let’s have a closer look, note the interesting introductory essay below by the book author Stamo Papadaki (1906-1990). Papadaki was a very important and forgotten figure in the CIAM  (Congrès internationaux d’architecture moderne). The Princeton University Library has a wonderful archival collection on Papadaki here.

img497img498img499This essay opens the way for a better understanding of the curvatures and shapes found in this architects work. I also appreciate the many photographs in the book of the models and drawings that add another dimension to seeing a finished work.

img491img492img493img494img495img496img500img501 img502 img503The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi was a controversial building from the start of the project. Another religious project the Brasilia Cathedral, was truly innovative.

The soaring ceiling must inspire awe to anyone entering the Cathedral from below ground, the entrance is visible in the model’s photo above.

img504Imagine coming to school here!

img506How about sitting outside and enjoying some Brazilian food in the warm sun? Nice!img505Have a look here for photos of Niemeyer architecture around the world.

The poet, editor and author Stamo Papadaki wrote an earlier monograph in 1950 about the architects work. Much of our current knowledge was published earlier in foreign architectural periodicals like Modulo, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Progressive Architecture, and  Mirador.

This book was one of the first monographs of Niemeyer’s work, in the English language, available on a large scale at a time when architecture and modernist architecture at that, was a field of interest belonging to special interest groups. At the time of publication in 1960 Modernist Architecture became accepted and more mainstream in the American architectural landscape.

We posted another book in this series which covered the work of Pier Luigi Nervi.