— July 26, 2012 —
Inspirational figures get personal and share a passion with us in AnOther Thing I Wanted to Tell You
Oscar Niemeyer Photography by Ludovic Lent"When I was a little boy, I liked to draw. I remember when I was around 10-years-old I would always be like this with my fingers in the air, drawing pictures in space. I would draw and draw, and nothing else mattered. Drawing has always provoked me. Drawing carried me to architecture.
I think Brazil is so beautiful, so good. I was born here by the edge of the sea – I spent my childhood at the beach. Very early in the morning I would go see the fishermen fishing. They are stuck in reality.
Brazilian architecture is based on reinforced concrete. It permits all fantasies to take shape. We work to instigate reinforced concrete, helping it to evolve, too. In the past a house was just bricks on the floor – now a house can be suspended, crafted in a more unique manner, more different – you can use the reinforced concrete in an intelligent manner. It isn’t enough to just be rational; it also must be beautiful. It must show that it is based in an architecture that is rich in solutions.
Architecture is related to a way of thought. Architecture is a fantasy. Architecture isn’t a business. It isn’t just technical – it isn’t just raising 100-metre buildings. Architecture is making a beautiful building. Architecture can provide the good environment that we want. For me, architecture needs to be different. Architecture is invention. So in my case, the challenge I am interested in is making something different. So I speculate with reinforced concrete. With it, I can invent anything."
"Architecture is related to a way of thought. Architecture is a fantasy. Architecture isn’t a business. Architecture is making a beautiful building."
Inspired by the "free-flowing sensual curves" of the mountains, the rivers, the waves and the women of his homeland, legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has been creating extraordinary buildings across the world since the 1930s. It is estimated that his works number around 800; from the United Nations Headquarters in New York, created in collaboration with Le Corbusier, to the Penang State Mosque and many of the epic structures of Brazil's capital Brasilia, the city he was instrumental in creating in the Brazilian desert with the great urban planner Lucio Costa.
Today, aged 104, he is still working; designing around 12 buildings a year in his hometown of Rio de Janerio, and producing an architecture magazine, Nosso Caminho. This week, in conjuction with Visionaire and Paddle8, his iconic works are being presented in 3D for the first time. Here, in an extract from the extraordinary interview that accompanies the launch, AnOther presents the early memories and lifelong inspirations of the man cited as the world's greatest living architect, alongside a gallery of the buildings for which has he gained such renown.
Paddle8 presents an Oscar Niemeyer Tribute in 3D. Visit here to read more and buy the portfolio.