Friday, November 16, 2007

Niemeyer Briefly

It has been a long week here in Buenos Aires. A presentation on Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy's 'Los Eucalyptos' apartment building kept me very busy. I hope to turn it into a post sometime in the near future. But continuing with the Brasilian theme, I found some interesting and very funny stuff on Niemeyer that really must be passed on.

First off, this article by David Underwood. Popular Culture and High Art in the Work of Oscar Niemeyer is a must read for every architect. It is a sobering reminder to good intentioned architects and Niemeyer fans alike. My favorite quote from the article is:

"Workers housing and popular housing are terms that indicate capitalist discrimination. They represent demagogic and paternalistic objectives that don't attend to the scale of the misery. In fact they aim to prolong the existing situation, to peripheralize the faveldos from the most valuable areas, to bury them in these horrible ghettos called conjuntos proletarios, or under pretext of security and ecology, to turn the shanty areas to real estate profit."

Next I'd like to share two videos on Niemeyer. I found these on the Architectural Videos Blog which occasionally has some interesting stuff on it. The first video is brilliantly produced, the music really adds a whole new dimension to his architecture. The other is unfortunately in Portuguese but still worth a watch. It shows the elderly master at work.

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