Oscar Niemeyer rejected the square box. Instead, he honoured the curves of nature and the human body in his buildings in Brazil, France, Italy and the U.S. Here’s a blossom in his memory…dropped from the massive Hibiscus in front of Niemeyer’s studio in Rio overlooking Copacabana Beach.
Lifting off: Niemeyer’s joyous curves at Maison de la culture du Havre, France. P. Michel Moch
Headquarters of the Communist Party, Paris, France. Niemeyer was a life-long Communist who apparently waived his design fees to create this building with its sci-fi, ethereal interiors.
Inside the rain forest outside of Rio, Niemeyer’s house (1953) is part shelter, part sensuous sculpture.
At poolside, a sculpture by Alfredo Ceschiatti. The female form inspired Niemeyer throughout his life. Obviously! When Frank Gehry visited him at his studio in Rio, Niemeyer showed him a series of pictures on his desk of beautiful women on the Rio beach…”one of her back, the next one of her stomach, the next one of her back, the next one on her stomach.”
What every home should have: Bookshelves rolling around a curved wall.
Niemeyer and I in his house…sadly, I had to leave Rio before his secretary returned my email confirming our meeting. Goodbye Oscar. Boa Noite.
One evening walking downtown Rio de Janeiro with the after-work crowd, I found these bubble shoes in the Melissa store. Every year, Melissa commissions architects such as Zaha Hadid to design a line of shoes. These ones are by the Italian architect Gaetano Pesce, famous for his organic, bubble-inspired architecture and furniture. They’re made of recycled plastic and smell like bubble gum. They’re my new amphibian friends. You can pop out bubbles to customize the shoes to your foot. I haven’t take out any bubbles yet. They fit me like a glove, or friendly reptile. I love them ! Sorry, they’re not available in North America.