Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES


 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER THREE
 

TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE
 

Part I. ARCHITECTURE - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Part II. ARCHITECTURE - 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
Part III. ARCHITECTURE - 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
 

 


ARCHITECTURE
 

URBAN PLANNING.

To some architects, the greatest challenge is not the individual structure but urban design. Urban planning is probably as old as civilization itself (which, we recall, means "city life"). We have caught only occasional glimpses of it in this book since its history is difficult to trace by direct visual evidence. Cities, like living organisms, are ever-changing, and to reconstruct their pasts from their present appearances is not an easy task. With the advent of the industrial era two centuries ago, cities began to grow explosively and have continued to do so ever since. Much of this growth was uncontrolled, beyond the laying out of a network of streets. Worse, housing standards were poor or poorly enforced. The unfortunate result can be seen in the overcrowded, crumbling apartment blocks that are the blight of huge urban areas. They were taken over by the
poor, while those who could afford it fled to the dormitory towns of suburbia. This exodus, accelerated by the automobile, has produced the dangerous tensions that lend urgency to the cry for urban renewal today. Such renewal, needless to say, must involve the political, social, and economic resources of an entire society, rather than the architect alone. Yet the architect has an essential role in the process, that of translating the schemes of the planning agencies into reality. However, they have generally failed in their social mandate to replace the slums of our decaying cities with housing that will provide a socially healthful environment for very large numbers of people.



NIEMEYER.

Nowhere are the issues facing modern civilization put into sharper relief than in the grandiose urban projects conceived by twentieth-century architects. These Utopian visions may be regarded as laboratory experiments which seek to redefine the role of architecture in shaping our lives and to pose new solutions. Limited by their very scope, few of these ambitious proposals make it off the drawing board. Among the rare exceptions is Brasilia, the inland capital of Brazil built entirely since
1960. Presented with an unparalleled opportunity to design a major city from the ground up and with vast resources at its disposal, the design team, headed by the Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer (born 1907), achieved undeniably spectacular results (fig. 1206). Like most projects of this sort, Brasilia has a massive scale and insistent logic that make it curiously oppressive, so that despite the lavish display, the city provides a chilling glimpse of the future (compare fig. 1178).




1206. OSCAR NIEMEYER. Brasilia, Brazil. Completed 1960





1206. OSCAR NIEMEYER. Brasilia, Brazil. Completed 1960




Section and plan of the Congress Building

 

 



Oscar Niemeyer

Oscar Niemeyer, in full Oscar Niemeyer Soares Filho (born Dec. 15, 1907, Rio de Janeiro, Braz.), Brazilian architect and early exponent of modern architecture in Latin America, particularly noted for his work on Brasília, the new capital of Brazil.

Niemeyer studied architecture at the National School of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro. Shortly before he graduated in 1934, he entered the office of Lúcio Costa, a leader of the modern movement in Brazilian architecture. He worked with Costa from 1937 to 1943 on the design for the Ministry of Education and Health building, considered by many to be Brazil’s first masterpiece of modern architecture. The design reveals the influence of the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier, who was a consultant on the construction. Niemeyer also worked with Costa on the plans for the Brazilian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1939–40.

Niemeyer’s first solo project was the plan for a complex within Pampulha, a new suburb of Belo Horizonte, Braz. Commissioned in 1941 by Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, then mayor of Belo Horizonte, the scheme included a church, casino, dance hall, restaurant, yacht club, golf club, and the mayor’s weekend retreat, all situated around an artificial lake. The complex’s buildings are notable for their free-flowing forms. One writer described the facade of the church as resembling “the trajectory of a bouncing ball.” In 1947 Niemeyer represented Brazil in the planning of the United Nations buildings in New York City.

When in 1956 Kubitschek was elected president of Brazil, he asked Niemeyer to design the new capital city of Brasília. Niemeyer agreed to design the government buildings but suggested a national competition for the master plan, a competition subsequently won by his mentor, Lúcio Costa. Niemeyer served as chief architect for NOVA-CAP, the government building authority in Brasília, from 1956 to 1961. Among the Brasília buildings designed by Niemeyer are the President’s Palace, the Brasília Palace Hotel, the Ministry of Justice building, the presidential chapel, and the cathedral. In 1961 Niemeyer returned to private practice and for a time lived in Paris and Israel. In 1966 he designed an urban area in Grasse, near Nice, France, and a building for the French Communist Party in Paris. From 1968 he lectured at the University of Rio de Janeiro.

Niemeyer’s other architectural projects include the Ministry of Defense building in Brasília in 1968 and Constantine University (now Mentouri University) in Constantine, Alg., in 1969. In the mid-1980s he began rethinking and renovating some of his former designs in Brasília. He changed the shape of the exterior arches on the Ministry of Justice building and replaced the windows of the cathedral with stained-glass panels. He continued to design new buildings, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói, Braz., in 1996. Even after celebrating his 100th birthday and despite criticism that his newer work lacked the elegance of his earlier projects, in 2007 he began designing a cultural centre for Avilés, Spain, where in 1989 he had received the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.

The recipient of many other international architectural awards, Niemeyer was a cowinner (with Gordon Bunshaft) of the 1988 Pritzker Prize. In 1963 he received the Lenin Peace Prize. The Oscar Niemeyer Foundation, dedicated to architectural preservation and research, was founded in 1988, and a new headquarters designed by Niemeyer opened in Niterói in 2010.


Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 



Oscar Niemeyer. Brasilia: Catedral Metropolitana





Oscar Niemeyer.
Pantheon of Liberation and Democracy Tancredo Neves, Brasilia, 1985-1986






Oscar Niemeyer. Casino in Funchal, Madeira





Oscar Niemeyer. Museu de Arte Contemporanea (MAC), Niteroi





Oscar Niemeyer. Oscar Niemeyer Museum (NovoMuseu), Curitiba, Brazil





Oscar Niemeyer. International Cultural Centre Asturias, Spain

 
 

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