In this first ever English-language edition of Oscar Niemeyer's memoirs, the architect reveals how his many passions - among them his large family, many friends, the seneuous land and open skies of Brazil, the female body, art and literature - have formed the key to his architecture and to his vibrant life. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in 1934. As a student he worked in the office of Lucio Costa, and on graduation he began collaborating with Le Corbusier on a new Ministry of Education and Health Building in Rio. Yet, in contrast to the International Style, Niemeyer's curvilinear forms reflected Brazil's lush, undulating landscape and the emotive style of its music and dance. Here Niemeyer recounts his life in an informal, fluid narrative that moves from his childhood in Rio, through to friendships with intellectuals and politicians such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Fidel Castro, to tales of adventurous road trips. The book includes 40 specially-made sketches by Niemeyer, a chronology of his notes and an index.
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, born in 1907, is one of the architectural masters of the twentieth century and a pioneer of modernism. Known primarily for his collaboration with Le Corbusier and his projects for Pampulha and the visionary Brazilian capital, Brasília, Niemeyer has designed hundreds of remarkable buildings and master plans during his six-decade careeer. His experimentation with reinforces concrete produced curved, organic forms that marked an innovative departure from the rectilinear austerity of European modernism. Niemeyer was named an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects in 1963, and he was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1988 and the RIBA Gold Medal in 1998 in honor of his outstanding contributions to architecture.