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Oscar Niemeyer: Brazil's king of curves

The rule breaking architect who preferred curves over right angles

Best known for his curvaceous buildings and his design of Brasilia, Oscar Niemeyer was one of Brazil’s greatest architects and a leading pioneer of modernism. During his seven- decade career, Niemeyer designed hundreds of remarkable buildings not just in his native Brazil but also in Europe and as far afield as Algeria. His experimentation with reinforced concrete produced organic curved shapes that were a significant departure from the austere style of European modernism. An ardent communist, Niemeyer hoped his beautiful buildings would be for all sections of society to enjoy, but how does his vision and influence endure today, and are his striking creations still functional and sustainable?

Joining Rajan Datar to discuss Oscar Niemeyer and his work are Professor Richard Williams from the University of Edinburgh and the author of “Brazil: Modern Architectures in History”; the Brazilian architect and lecturer at the University of Bath, Dr Juliana Calabria Holley, and Maria Paz Gutierrez, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

(Image: a view of the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro state, with the Sugar Loaf mountain in the background. Credit: REUTERS/Pilar Olivares)

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44 minutes

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Mon 16 Mar 2020 04:06GMT

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