Centenarian Oscar Niemeyer, the internationally acclaimed architect, just published a book with photos of the 16 gorgeous churches and chapels he conceived. A historic communist – who designed the headquarters of the French Communist Party and never rejected his Stalinist views -, he explained this way his many religious projects (on daily paper Folha de S. Paulo):
I felt that I should explain it, because I am a communist and have been working on so many churches. But I was born in a very religious family. My grandfather was religious. The house where I used to live had five windows and one of them was converted into an oratory by my grandmother. We had masses at home. All this is very natural. Continue reading Communist Niemeyer’s churches→
The capital of the state of Minas Gerais, unlike the many colonial sites that represent the best of Brazilian Baroque, was planned in the late 19th century. Today, it has around 2.4 million inhabitants, but in 1949 it had only 200 thousand people, as shown in this interesting American documentary (produced to strengthen Brazil-USA relations). It also presents some images of other cities, such as historic Ouro Preto and Itabira, plus a portrait of “capable and enthusiastic” mayor Juscelino Kubitschek, later the country’s president.
Oscar Niemeyer, the centenary Brazilian architect that gained world fame for his sculptural reinforced concrete buildings, is still producing in an almost compulsive rhythm.
His signature is everywhere – not only in Brasília, the country’s capital and the main showcase of his creativity. During the last decade, he designed at least a dozen new projects, including a couple of museums and an annex for the Serpentine Gallery in the Hyde Park, in London. This week an impressive group of buildings by Niemeyer were inaugurated in Belo Horizonte. They will host Minas Gerais state government headquarters. The project, that cost over R$ 1 billion (US$ 560 million), includes two 15-floor towers and an auditorium. Continue reading Niemeyer at 102→