Architect Oscar Niemeyer Dies at 104

December 5, 2012

View of the Brazilian Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, on 30 May, 2005

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century’s most famous modernist buildings, has died just before his 105th birthday.

Oscar Niemeyer rose to international fame as the architect of the main government buildings in the futuristic Brazilian capital, Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960.  He also worked with Swiss-born modernist architect Le Corbusier on the UN building in New York.  He continued to work on new projects until earlier this year.

He died on Wednesday at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

Oscar Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s, when Brazil was still copying neoclassical European architecture and designing ornate palace-like buildings.  His bold futuristic designs in Brasilia made the new capital a dramatic statement of confidence in the future of Brazil, and an icon of modern architecture.

Oscar Niemeyer outside the Niemeyer Foundation building in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro, on his 103rd birthday

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