“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein” (Oscar Niemeyer)
The words of Oscar Niemeyer, a Brazilian architect, who played tremendous role in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was characterized by his work at Brazil’s capital (Brasilia), and his partnership with architects on the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. He stated that he was influenced by Le Corbusier. In an interview he mentions that this influence “didn’t prevent (his) architecture from going in a different direction” (Oscar Niemeyer). This well known architect was famous for his abstract forms and curves which characterized most of his work.
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 15, 1907, and died December 5, 2012 Niemeyer went to school at Escola Nacional de Belas Artes. After his graduation, he worked at his father’s typography house, and later, as a draftsman for local architectural firms. He worked at the studio of Lucio Costa, Gregori Warchavchik and Carlos Leao, without payment. In 1936, Costa was about to start a new project which was appointed by the Education Minister. He had to design the new headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Health in Rio de Janeiro. A team of architects was put together, (among them Costa had insisted that Le Corbusier should be one of them), and started working on the project. Niemeyer wasn’t officially part of the team, but was assigned to help Le Corbusier with his drafts. This allowed Niemeyer to have a very close contact with the Swiss Master.