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Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer

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Works Church of St Francis, at Pampulha, Brazil, 1943.
Biography

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Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer

(Costa—b. Toulon, France, 1902; d. 1998) (Niemeyer—b. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1907)

Lucio Costa was born in Toulon, France in 1902. He graduated with a diploma in architecture from the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, in 1924.

Costa initially fostered the growing Neocolonial Revival which spread through Brazil in the 1930s but eventually came to support the revolutionary concepts of the European avant-garde. Appointed as director of the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, he immediately dismantled the existing Beaux-Arts curriculum in favor of Modern ideals. His support of the modern movement was not generally approved and he was quickly replaced as director.

Much of his architecture, notably his competition winning city plan for the new capital Brasilia, owed a debt to the design theories and vocabulary introduced by Le Corbusier. He is often hailed as the man who first introduced the Modern Movement to Brazil.

Oscar Niemeyer was born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 1907. He graduated from the Escola Nacional de Belas Artas in Rio de Janeiro in 1934, at which time he joined a team of Brazilian architects collaborating with Le Corbusier on a new Ministry of Education and Health in Rio de Janeiro. This proved a formative experience.

In 1942, Niemeyer created a series of recreational buildings which embodied a highly expressive style which borrowed extensively from the Brazilian Baroque style of architecture. In 1956 Niemeyer was appointed architectural adviser to Nova Cap - an organization charged with implementing Luis Costa's plans for Brazil's new capital. The following year, he became its chief architect, designing most of the city's important buildings. The epoch of Niemeyer's career, these buildings mark a period of creativity and modern symbolism.

Niemeyer continued to work on Brazilia until 1964 when his political affiliation with the communist party forced him into exile in France. In the late 1960s he resumed his career in Brazil, teaching at the University of Rio de Janeiro and working in private practice. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architecture in 1970.

References
Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA 40 I45. p41, 113-114.

Resources Sources on Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer

David Underwood. Oscar Niemeyer and the Architecture of Brazil. Rizzoli Publications, December 1994. ISBN 0-8478-1687-7.   Available at Amazon.com

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