Oscar Niemeyer

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Oscar Niemeyer
Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho
BirthplaceRio de Janeiro, Brazil

Niemeyer, Oscar

Brazilian architect who designed the Ministry of Health and Education, Rio de Janeiro (1945), a Modern-style tower block modified by louvers, devised by Le Corbusier, the consultant architect. Niemeyer was interested in buildings as sculpture. Brasilia, Brazil (1960), was planned in the shape of a bird, with the Parliamentary Building at its head. The influence of Le Corbusier is evident.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Niemeyer, Oscar


(full name, Oscar Niemeyer Soares Filho). Born Dec. 15, 1907, in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian architect. Member of the Communist Party of Brazil.

Niemeyer graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro in 1934. He entered the office of L. Costa in 1932. Niemeyer subsequently was among the founders of the modern school of Brazilian architecture. He introduced new ways of using reinforced concrete and developed its artistic possibilities. These innovations made possible expressive designs characterized by bold forms, ingenious layout, and a sculptural quality. His works in this spirit include a sports and entertainment complex (1942–43) in Pampulha (near Belo Horizonte); the Boavista Bank (1946), the architect’s home (1953), the South American Hospital (1953), and the Hotel National (1970) in Rio de Janeiro; and the Museum of Fine Arts (1955–56) in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1957, Niemeyer was asked to design the city of Brasilia. His designs for the city are expressive, contrasting the unusual shapes (domes, pyramids, cuplike forms, and arrowlike columns) of the government buildings with the severe geometric forms of the residential complexes.

In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, Niemeyer designed and constructed public buildings in Ghana, Lebanon, France, Italy, and Algeria. Among these was the building for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of France (Paris, 1966–71).

Niemeyer is a member of the Presidium of the World Peace Council. In 1963 he was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Between Nations.


Moi opyt stroitel’stva Brazilia. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from Portuguese.)


Khait, V. L., and O. N. Ianitskii. Oskar Nimeier. Moscow, 1963.
Papadaki, S. O. Niemeyer. New York, 1960.
L’architecture d’aujourd’hui, 1974, no. 174.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Claudia Toni assesses the lengthy process of designing and building a cultural centerpiece, Oscar Niemeyer's Auditorio Ibirapuera, in Sao Paulo.
The gallery quickly became a destination for collectors looking to buy contemporary and modern Brazilian design, featuring pieces by Oscar Niemeyer, Joaquim Tenreiro, Lina Bo Bardi, and other boldface names.
Un accent particulier est mis sur la richesse architecturale d'Alger, a travers les realisations d'architectes a l'image de Fernand Pouillon, Le Corbusier ou encore le Bresilien Oscar Niemeyer, qui ont marque de leur empreinte le paysage urbain de la capitale.
The city was planned and developed by urbanist Lucio Costa and famed architect Oscar Niemeyer during the 1950s as part of an initiative to relocate the country's capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more central location.
Another architect in the same movement is also under consideration for a World Heritage nod, Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer, who laid out the country's capital Brasilia.
An Inquirer article by conservation architect Augusto Toti Villalon in 2004 says Zaragoza was one of the guest architects invited to Brazil by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1960 to help design projects for the Latin American giant nation's new capital, Brasilia.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architecture firm Herzog & De Meuron, the property will feature a curvaceous glass exterior inspired by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Last month saw the publication of a coffee table book, The United Nations at 70: Restoration and Renewal, which combines a richly illustrated tribute to the recent restoration of the UN Headquarters complex in New York, designed by modernist architects Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, with reflections on the Organization in its 70th year.
His firm, Harrison and Abramovitz, oversaw the execution of the design, which was made by merging two designs made by Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer and the French Le Corbusier.
The building that houses the National Congress of Brazil was designed by Oscar Niemeyer for the then newly built capital, Brasilia; planned and developed by Lucio Costa and Niemeyer; and inaugurated in 1960.