Saturday, December 15, 2007

Brazil News:PEOPLE NEED BEAUTY': Oscar Niemeyer Turns 1oo

Instead, on the agenda this morning is his theory of the cosmos, Brazilian politics and general gnomic philosophising. “Life is very fleeting. It’s important to be gentle and optimistic. We look behind and think what we’ve done in this life has been good. It was simple; it was modest. Everyone creates their own story and moves on. That’s it. I don’t feel particularly important. What we create is not important. We’re very insignificant.”

Não é de hoje que as curvas das montanhas brasileiras, das ondas do mar e das mulheres o inspiram. Certa vez, Niemeyer disse:"Se a reta é o caminho mais curto entre dois pontos, a curva é o que faz o concreto buscar o infinito”.
O arquiteto Oscar Niemeyer, é um brasileiro que vive surpreendendo.

By Carmen Stephan in Rio

Oscar Niemeyer, the last surviving founder of architecture's Modernist movement, turns 100 on Saturday. The grandfather of Brazilian architecture is a living legend, and plans to remain so for a while.
When Oscar Niemeyer comes into his office in the morning, his manner reveals a lot about his inner composure. The driver helps him out of his dark Mercedes, and then he walks, slowly and full of dignity, along the hallway to the elevator. He is almost 100 years old, and yet much about this man doesn't seem old at all, least of all his boundless determination.

The ramp of Brasilia"s National Museum, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

The ramp of Brasilia"s National Museum, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

Legendary architect Niemeyer is the sole partner in a firm that constantly receives major commissions. His designs are becoming more and more daring: a museum that looks like a giant eye; a chapel standing in the ocean; a square with an 80-meter (262-foot) concrete arch spanned across it. Even today, at such an advanced age, he pursues his ideas with deep conviction. This partly explains why Oscar Niemeyer is one of the world's greatest architects.

He is omnipresent in his office on Rio's Copacabana, even when he is nowhere to be seen. Niemeyer spends much of his time sitting in his small, windowless office, surrounded by books piled up around him like a tall hedge. His needs are simple: cigarillos, coffee, models and words. Vera, his secretary for many years and now his new wife, answers the phone with pride in her voice.
His assistant, Aurélio, moves through the office, quiet as a butler. In return for Niemeyer paying his tuition while he studies architecture, Aurélio is required to read one literary work every two months and write a short summary of it for his boss. Many worlds come together in this office, but the principal source of energy is the old man in his tiny office, where there is a model of Praça do Povo (Square of the People) in Brasília. Niemeyer, sounding as proud as a young boy, says that the concrete dome is big enough to cover an entire soccer field.


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