Happy Birthday, Oscar Niemeyer!
December 15, 2011
Today, Brazilian icon Oscar Niemeyer turns 104! As is well known, Niemeyer continues to practice, with his office directing several large-scale international projects every year–including the Centro Niemeyer in Avilas, Spain, which, unfortunately, has failed to produce the promised ‘Bilbao effect’ in its host city and was officially closed earlier today (bad timing!). The architect’s oeuvre is uniformly defined by a curvilinear sensibility and an appreciation of site and place, qualities which consistently defied the modernist functionalist heritage in which he was trained. His singular work ethic, rivaled by few others, would have been enough to cement his reputation, yet the consistency and substance of the work over his 75 year-long career have positioned him in the ranks of the 20th-century’s greatest architects. Niemeyer will undoubtedly remain, in the words of his good friend Fidel Castro, “of consequence up to the end.”