Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, Brazilian architect who was a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact. Born on December 15, 1907 in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the Laranjeras neighborhood Niemeyer grew up to specialize in international modern architecture. At the age of 21 years old, he concluded his secondary education and at that same year, married Annita Baldo. After getting married, Niemeyer started to work within his father’s typography house together with enrolling in the Escola de Belas Altes in Brazil and ended up graduating as engineer architect in 1934.
Niemeyer who felt displeased with the architecture he saw in the streets, decided to work without payment in the architecture studio of Lucio Costa and Carlos Leao despite the fact that he had financial difficulties since he believed he could find a career there.
In 1936 Lucio Costa was appointed as the architect of the new headquarters for the ministry of education and public health in rio de janeiro by education minister Gustavo Capanema. As a result, Niemeyer assumed leadership of the team of 6 Brazilian architects collaborating with Le Corbusier on a new Ministry of Education and Public Health project in Rio De Jeneiro. In 1985, the headquarters were renamed Palacio Gustavo Capanema following Niemeyer’s request which was the first state-sponsored modernist skyscraper worldwide and of a much larger scale than anything until then, Le Corbusier had built.
PHILOSOPHY IN ARCHITECTURE
Oscar Niemeyer’s perspective on life is completely different to that of many of those working elsewhere in modern architecture. He began life as a modernist but gradually forged an architectural style that is both unique and ahead of its time, a symbol of the color and lust for life of his native Brazil. In addition the Brazilian