Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is one of the founding fathers of modern architecture, and in 2003 was commissioned to design the pavilion for The Serpentine Gallery. This is an account of his sketches, architectural plans and a photographic documentary of the Pavilion's construction, and is an important critical account of this renowned artist.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2003, by the seminal Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, was his first completed structure in the UK. Situated on the gallery's lawn from June 20th to September 14th, it offered visitors an opportunity to experience a space designed by one of the founding figures of modern architecture.
Oscar Niemeyer was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1907, where he graduated from the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio in 1934, before joining a team of architects collaborating with Le Corbusier on a new Ministry of Education and Health in the city.
Throughout the 1950s, he designed ground-breaking public and corporate buildings in Brazil. From 1958 he became chief architect of Nova Cap, the organisation charged with the creation of Brasilia, Brazil's new capital city. The work he did on this extraordinary project, which included two of his masterpieces, the 1958-60 Congreso Nacional and the 1960 Catedral Metropolitana, brought him international acclaim.
In 1964 a political coup forced him into exile in France, where he designed the Headquarters of the French Communist Party, two Universities in Algeria and several important buildings in Italy. With the end of the Brazilian dictatorship he returned to his native country. Since then he has continued to push the boundaries of architecture with such breathtaking schemes as the Memorial to Latin America in Sao Paulo (1986-91) and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi (1991).
Among many other international honours, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1988.