Friday, December 14, 2007

Video of the Day: Oscar Niemeyer – Architectural genius

This Saturday will be the 100th birthday of famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. He is best known for his design of numerous buildings in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia during the 1960s. Niemeyer has also been the brains behind edifices outside of Brazil such as the French Communist Party Headquarters and the Penang State Mosque in Malaysia.

In a 2006 interview, Niemeyer explained the impetus behind his architectural visions:

“I sought to make an architecture that I think should be done, a thing that creates surprise,” he said. “Even the poorest person, who doesn’t have conditions to enjoy architecture, stops for a moment in front of a new building and is surprised, is filled with a certain emotion.”

Below is the trailer of a 2007 documentary on Niemeyer entitled “Oscar Niemeyer- A Vida É Um Sopro”. It shows several of the buildings he designed and touches on his love for his native Rio de Janeiro.

(Video link):

Sources- International Herald Tribune,, Wikipedia, PopMatters, YouTube

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