"I'm Not Attracted To Straight Lines" Oscar Niemeyer - An Inspirational Man
"I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein."
Those words above were spoken by one of architectures truly great creators & a gentleman at heart. A great man passed away today, His name Oscar Niemeyer & unless you were buried within the world of building & architecture my guess is you probably didn't hear about it.
The news within the boundaries of Australia didn't even give it a passing mention & for one, i think it is an insult of the greatest magnitude for a man who had such an impact on architecture around the world. Not to mention the fact he was 10 days short of his 105th birthday & still working in his beloved field of creativity & design in the world of architecture. So i have decided to take a moment & share my appreciation for this brilliant & immensely creative genius.
Niemeyer started his days working under another of the architecture greats in Le Corbusier & worked with him on the "Ministry Of Education & Health Headquarters" & also on the united nations headquarters. The interesting fact being that Niemeyer was a Communist working on an american government building. An interesting fact often glossed over. I guess you can say architecture transcends politics in every way.
Niemeyer completed many projects, however what most wouldn't know is that he was picked by the Brazilian president to run the design & planning of Brasilia. With the presidents words 'I am going to build a new capital for this country and I want you to help me Oscar, this time we are going to build the capital of Brazil.’ ringing in his ear he set up a competition to find a winning master plan with Louis Costa winning, Niemeyer was to design all the buildings & Costa the layout & town planning of the new capital.
It's not often one man is hand picked to design the entire capital of a country & Niemeyer given that project created what is clearly one of architectures most wonderful projects, riddled with government issues & sent into exile for his political beliefs his vision was eventually created. I guess in a way his journey was similar to Walter Burley Griffin's journey of design & creativity for the Canberra project. Both had grand visions & both struggled eventually with new governments & both ended up leaving the projects for political reasons. The difference being that Niemeyer did eventually return to Brazil.
Even as the great man aged his desire to create new architecture never diminished. In 1996 aged 89 he designed the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum. An architectural masterpiece that deserves greater praise in the public eye around the world than it is given & deserves. Amazingly this passionate architect worked as often as he could until his passing today. I can only dream of doing the same as Niemeyer, working & creating architecture for those around me until i draw my last breath.
The BBC spoke of Niemeyer after his passing noting that "He built some of the world's most striking buildings - monumental, curving concrete and glass structures which almost defy description. He was one of the most innovative and daring architects of the last 60 years". those words are wonderfully chosen to describe the brilliance that was Oscar Niemeyer. The world will be forever a changed place with his passing & we can only hope his work is shown to those outside the world of architecture. Niemeyer is well worth researching in your spare time to see the worlds he created in his architecture & i assure you that you won't be disappointed in viewing his life's works.
Oscar Niemeyer you will be remembered by this designer & your legacy will be shared with my family. RIP great man, for we will all miss you.