Oscar Niemeyer

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Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (born December 15, 1907) is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture. He is a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments",[1] he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters.[2] His works include public buildings designed for the city of Brasília, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City (with others).

Contents

Early life

Oscar Niemeyer, took his German name from a grandmother with roots in Hannover. He was born in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1907 in Laranjeiras neighborhood, on a street that later would receive the name of his grandfather. He spent his youth as a typical young Carioca of the time: bohemian and relatively unconcerned with his future. He concluded his secondary education at age 21. The same year, he married Annita Baldo, daughter of Italian immigrants from Padua. They have one daughter, Ana Maria, five grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

He started to work in his father's typography house and entered the Escola de Belas Artes (Brazil), from which he graduated as engineer architect in 1934. At the time he had financial difficulties but decided to work without payment in the architecture studio of Lúcio Costa and Carlos Leão. He felt dissatisfied with the architecture that he saw in the streets and believed he could find a career there.

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