By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Niemeyer deserves more understanding


One would have expected that the seven-decade career of Oscar Niemeyer, the architect whose early work Pevsner saw as 'irrational' and 'unfunctional', would have been understood by now. But the AJ editorial (6.2.03) proves otherwise.

Neither the Curitiba Museum Niemeyer completed two months ago, nor the photographers' favourite one at Niteroi (1999) - let alone his seemingly floating, cloud-scratching structures at Brasília - justify such terms as 'brutalism' or 'heavy organic forms embedded in the landscape'. Is it, perhaps, judgement rather than 'reputation [that] rests on work which was executed decades ago'?

Far from 'nostalgic' or 'crowd-pleasing', this year's choice (pictured above) confirms the Serpentine's curatorial genius. For Niemeyer may be '[much] talked about' but he remains little known.

Dr Styliane Philippou, London

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters