Brazilian architect going strong at 103By IANS
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Niteroi (Brazil), Dec 16 (IANS/EFE) Pioneering Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer celebrated his 103rd birthday here Wednesday by inaugurating the headquarters of his foundation.
The future home of the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation bears the architect’s unmistakable stamp: a white structure built from reinforced concrete, replete with curves and accessed by a spiral-shaped ramp.
An expanse of nearly 4,000 sq. meters, the building will house a centre for arts research and documentation and a school of architecture and the humanities.
Niemeyer was joined for Wednesday’s event by colleagues, friends and family, as well as local officials in Niteroi and hundreds of ordinary people.
“Work keeps me entertained, I spend hours thinking about a project,” he said.
Despite his needing a wheelchair to get around, the designer of the principal buildings of Brasilia - the futuristic capital founded in 1960 - remains eager for new projects.
The foundation headquarters is the architect’s sixth creation for what is known as “Niemeyer Way”, an oceanfront collection of buildings that includes an art museum, theatre, public square and a ship terminal.
Three other Niemeyer-designed structures are under construction in Niteroi, whose mayor, Jorge Roberto Silveira, said the inauguration of the foundation headquarters was an “historic moment” for the city outside Rio de Janeiro.