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Celebrated Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Turns 103, Opens Museum of His Work
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer receives a birthday cake during the opening of the Oscar Niemeyer foundation, a building designed by himself, and a ceremony to celebrate his 103rd birthday in Niteroi, December 15, 2010. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP).- Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer is celebrating his 103rd birthday with the launch of a museum dedicated to his career.

The Oscar Niemeyer Foundation outside Rio de Janeiro will house exhibits about the legendary architect's 70 years of work.

Niemeyer is responsible for more than 600 modernist projects around the world. They include the sweeping concrete structures that house Brazil's government in the capital, Brasilia, and U.N. headquarters in New York.

Niemeyer is still working and has won numerous awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1988.

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (born December 15, 1907) is a Brazilian architect specializing in international modern architecture. He is a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. His works include public buildings designed for the city of Brasília, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York City (with others).

Although semi-retired, he still works at the drawing board and welcomes young architects from all over the world. He hopes to instill in them the sensitivity to aesthetics that allowed him to strive for beauty in the manipulation of architectural forms.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.



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December 16, 2010

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