Brazilian architect. Deeply influenced by Le Corbusier, Niemeyer created his own flamboyant style, especially in the public buildings for Brasília, for which he was director of architecture.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer was educated at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes and the University of Brazil. He joined the office of Lúcio Costa (1902–63) in 1935 and in 1936 was part of the team of Brazilian architects who worked with Le Corbusier on the new Ministry of Education in Rio de Janeiro. In 1939 he collaborated with Costa on the Brazilian Pavilion for the New York World Fair (1939). Thereafter he worked largely on his own. The casino, club, and church designed for Pamphulha, Belo Horizonte (1941–43), with its liberal approach to the relationship between design and function, attracted considerable attention and he was appointed architectural director of the new capital, Brasília, which was created in the 1950s. The president's palace, the cathedral, the law courts, and the Square of the Three Powers in Brasília have all been highly praised. Indeed the whole enterprise has been greeted as a triumph of modern planning as well as a highly commendable vision on the part of the Brazilian government. The plan and the vision have only been partly marred by reality in the form of the dismal shanty town that has grown up around Niemeyer's opulently planned city.