Oscar Niemeyer in 1968
|Born||Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho
December 15, 1907
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Died||December 5, 2012
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Alma mater||Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (1934)
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
1963 Lenin Peace Prize
PalÃ¡cio do Planalto
|Projects||Museum of Modern Art in Caracas|
When students leave college, they are like children who know nothing about the problems of life, and don't have a political stance.
Architecture will always express the technical and social progress of the country in which it is carried out. If we wish to give it the human content that it lacks, we must participate in the political struggle.
I enter my studio at 9 a.m. I have lunch here, I return right away to my work and I go out to dinner at 8 p.m. My daily tasks vary very much.
I think of myself as no more than 60. What I could do at 60, I can still do now.
Architecture is my work, and I've spent my whole life at a drawing board, but life is more important than architecture. What matters is to improve human beings.
It is not with architecture that one can disseminate any political ideology.
Of course, I have given my engineers some headaches over the years, but they go with me. I have always wanted my buildings to be as light as possible, to touch the ground gently, to swoop and soar, and to surprise.
For me beauty is valued more than anything – the beauty that is manifest in a curved line or in an act of creativity.
Curves are the essence of my work because they are the essence of Brazil, pure and simple.
I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness.
It was the drawing that led me to architecture, the search for light and astonishing forms.
I pick up my pen. It flows. A building appears. There it is. There is nothing more to say.
Right angles don't attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man.
Humanity needs dreams to be able to survive the miseries of daily existence, even if only for an instant.
When I was very little my mother said I used to draw in the air with my fingers. I needed a pencil. Once I could hold one, I have drawn every day since.
My work is not about 'form follows function,' but 'form follows beauty' or, even better, 'form follows feminine.'
Sometimes I lose a whole morning waiting on journalists and other people who look for me. But I always find some time for reading, talking to my friends and feeling what is happening in this world.
The artistic capability of reinforced concrete is so fantastic – that is the way to go.
There is no reason to design buildings that are more basic and rectilinear, because with concrete you can cover almost any space.