Pritzker Prize winning Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has died age 104. The iconic designer started his career in the 1930s and went on working until his death designing over 600 buildings, with some 20 projects on the table.Niemeyer created buildings internationally. He was chosen to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in Hyde Park, London as well as his best known building, the United Nations building in New York. He also noted for constructing the futuristic capital of Brasilia.
“I am not attracted by the angles or the hard and inflexible straight lines created by man … what attracts me is the free and sensual curve,” When asked about the importance of curves and domes in his buildings, which often suggested the female body, he said: “If we have a dome with empty space—generous space—then we want the best-looking shape. Sometimes it happens to coincide with a woman’s body, but that’s not our objective. We want a pure form… I always go on searching until I find the forms I want. I like pure forms that give a different feeling to the project.”
He remembered that as a child he would make shapes in the air with his fingers, prompting his mother to ask: “What are you doing, boy?” He would reply: “I’m drawing,” recalling “I could picture the drawings in the air and correct them.”
Niemeyer was a lifetime communist and argued that “poor people don’t get to take part, but they can be brought to a halt in front of a building that is so different that it sparks a moment of surprise and emotion”.His death was caused by a respiratory infection,at the Samarintano hospital, where he was being treated for the illness.