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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.

203_oscarniemeyer_lehavreLifting off: Niemeyer’s joyous curves at Maison de la culture du Havre, France. P. Michel Moch

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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.

 IMG03598Inside the rain forest outside of Rio, Niemeyer’s house (1953) is part shelter, part sensuous sculpture.

 IMG03603At 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.”

IMG03587What every home should have: Bookshelves rolling around a curved wall.

IMG03585Niemeyer and I in his house…sadly, I had to leave Rio before his secretary returned my email confirming our meeting. Goodbye Oscar.  Boa Noite.

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Today’s Google Doodle celebrates a great, ominously talented architect…it’s the 126th Anniversary of the birth of the modernist Mies van der Rohe.  The Google image is of the German architect’s minimal design for Crown Hall (with its sweeping interior room) at the Illinois Institute of Technology on the south side of Chicago. Mies modernized ancient ideas of exquisite, unflinching logic, the embrace of courtyards and an honest use of the earth’s materials.  Consider his Toronto-Dominion Centre as a modern-day Pompeii.  His devotion to his principles meant repeating the same ideas of architecture in Chicago, New York and Toronto – and, in lesser versions, around the world.  Today my blog background gets changed to Miesian black.