In Memoriam, Oscar Neimeyer, the Great Brazilian Architect
Oscar Neimeyer, the Brazilian architect whose work includes the principal buildings of Brasilia, the headquarters building of the French Communist Party in Paris, and numerous buildings throughout Brazil (for instance, the Copan Building in Sao Paulo), died on December 5th. He was 104.
Neimeyer was a life-long communist (and atheist), facts that influenced both his design for Brasilia and his image in Brazil and abroad. But for RT, the memory of his work is far more visceral; RT was born in Rio de Janeiro and journeyed with his family as a toddler to be one of the first inhabitants of the nascent capital city (dedicated on April 21, 1960, about 10 weeks before RT’s birth). To this day, he can’t help but think of the buildings in Brasilia as both beautiful and emblematic of the hope for a more peaceful and satisfying future.
Neimeyer was a groundbreaking architect and a visionary artist whose work manifested the hope of millions. RT still hasn’t visited Brasilia as an adult, but Neimeyer’s passing reminds him of how much he would like to make that pilgrimage.
Photos: Top: Brazilian National Congress, Brasilia; WikiCmns; CC 2.5 Generic; author: Eurico Zimbres. Bottom: Oscar Neimeyer; taken during the 1950s; WikiCmns; Public Domain w/ source attribution; Source: http://www.arpdf.df.gov.br/005/00502001.asp?ttCD_CHAVE=4390