I ALWAYS remember his name because of the Oscar Meyer weiner song! Haha crazy, I know!
Oscar Niemeyer was one of the most important and celebrated architects of the 20th century, especially in Brazil. He died at the age of 104 in December 2012. Yes, it was big news here. He was the first modern architect from a country outside Europe or North America to achieve global fame. More than anyone else, including his architectural colleagues, he shaped the modern image of his country.
One place we hoped to visit in Brazil was Brasilia. However, every time we looked at places to fly there just seemed to be better options.( we only have so much time) Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was inaugurated on April 22nd 1960, in the central area of the country. Just five years before, the area resembled a desert, with no people, scarce water, few animals and plants. It was a “planned” city. The Brazil President at the time,invited the best Brazilian architects to present projects for the new capital. Oscar Niemeyer combined straight and rounded shapes to create innovative architectural masterpieces. Many can be seen in Brasilia. It would be so cool to see it! If you google Brasilia you will see what I mean. But, all that being said we didn’t want to spend the money to see just some famous architecture! Every time we thought about going, friends commented “Why, would you want to go to Brasillia?” “There is nothing there!” So we didn’t go
Anyway…there is a REALLY cool museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer in Rio ( actually in Niterói, across the bay from Rio) and this weekend we went to see it!
Aliens have landed! The museum is set on a cliff side and at the bottom a beach. The saucer-shaped modernist structure overlooks Guanabara Bay, and on the opposite side Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain can be seen. It looks like a UFO, so cool!!
We had fun getting some shots outside and at the beach, watching the hang gliding and went for a stroll along the stone bridge not far away to get some better shots. We even had lunch…and of course dessert at the Bistro at the Museum. David doesn’t care for museums but we paid the $R6 each to go inside ( not bad only 3CAD) however it really was a waste of time, money and good space. There wasn’t a whole lot of art there. There were actually more staff standing around telling you not to take pictures than art itself. BUT, the outside of the museum and the Bistro was a lot of fun!
Seeing as Carnaval just finished a month ago, I will mention another of Niemeyer’s masterpieces. One I forgot was his… the Sambadrome. The magnificent stadium designed in 1984. The stadium’s official name is Passarela do Samba Darcy Ribeiro, built in a record 110 days.With thirty thousand participants doing the samba along the half mile runway, and a space large enough to accommodate over 90,000 spectators, the Sambadrome is undoubtedly the biggest stage on earth. Prior to the construction of the Sambadrome, the Carnaval parades were held on Avenida Presidente Vargas, one of the largest streets in the downtown area of Rio.
I can only imagine what some of Oscar Niemeyer’s buildings are like in Brasilia! Hmm…I wonder if he has any in Sao Paulo? Maybe we will check some out Easter Weekend when we are in the city.
Actually, Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra recently completed a colorful mural that covers the entire side of a skyscraper on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, as tribute to Oscar Nieymeyer. Kobra and a team of four other artists worked on this project.
Have a good Monday!