Oscar Niemeyer liked curves.

The Brazilian architect, who rose to prominence in the 1940s, and died this past week, pushed the limits of concrete. He took a material that had historically been used for slabs, beams and pillars and sculpted it into arches and curves of every kind. At a time when modernist architecture was characterized by ‘rational’ right angles, Niemeyer took his inspiration from Brazil’s beaches, rivers, ocean waves, and women. (He was always mentioning the women.)

Seen today, many of Niemeyer’s designs still feel like they come from the future, or at least the future that was promised by the space age. In tribute to the architect, Wired presents some of our favorites.


Tim Maly