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Niemeyer's Modernism.

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

Recognised as one of the biggest visionary modernist of all times, Brazilian architect Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, known as Oscar Niemeyer, became famous to the World for his exuberant and yet simple buildings full of curves made of concrete!

Oscar declared himself as an enemy of what we in elementary geometry call "The Perpendicular Property", which basically is the relationship between two lines which meet in a 90 degree angle.

Niemeyer executed more than 600 projects across his successful carrier as an architect. Here I have Summoned a few of his most iconic and breathtaking works. Please enjoy!

"We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just didn’t have any talent. All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it."


  1. Niteroi Museum of Contemporary Art:

Build in in Rio de Janeiro in 1996, what this particular piece is known for is its peculiar shape in form of a disc of 50 Meters in diameter.

2. National Congress House of Brazil, (Congresso Nacional Brasileiro):

The congress house is also one of those memorable buildings build in Brasilia in 1960 with help of architect Costa! This complex is divided in two semi circular structures divided by two towers.

3. Museum Oscar Niemeyer Curitiba:

Also commonly referred to as The Eye Museum, due to its main building literally at first glance looking like an eye, was first designed in 1968, having its second part added in 2001. According to Niemeyer's original concept, the building was built to resemble a typical pine found in the area of the State of Parana where the city of Curitiba is located.

4. Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre/Spain:

Divided in five sections, this complex's features reflect not only Niemeyer's characteristic curves but also with its touch of colors, (white, red, yellow and blue), the influence of Neoplasticism, a theory established in 1917 bound to purify forms and objects from elements that in its theory did not belong there and tried to determine and apply the elementary or universal principles of each objects form through rational means.

5. ONU Headquarters New York:

These magnificent tower of precisely 39 floors was build in 1951 by Niemeyer in collaboration with Swiss architect Le Corbusier as well as American architect Wallace Harrison. This incredible building rose to resemble a symbol of unity, prosperity and peace in the light of the post World War Two trauma.

As you may have come to appreciate by now, the curvaceous, lyrical, hedonistic forms that characterizes Niemeyer's impressive work, also contributed to massively shape and even break to some extent Brazil's colonial and baroque past. His vision of modernity, simplicity and raw beauty extended far beyond Brazil, touching the interest of one country after the other.

Oscar Niemeyer died in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 104 on December 5th 2012.

"Humanity needs dreams to endure misery, even if it's just for an instant, even if they'll never come true".


Fabio Ragona

VRG Design Brisbane.

9th November 2020

Visual Sources:

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