Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho was born in 1907 in Rio de Janeiro. The base of his work is revolving around exploring reinforced concrete for its aesthetic impact. His buildings are spacious, relying on empty space and volumes. With his volume of work and immense international recognition, he is considered one of the fathers of modern architecture.
He studied in the Escola de Belas Artes from which he graduated as an engineer architect in 1934. His first commissioned work came in 1936 when he worked on the new headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Public Health. It was the first state-sponsored modernist sky-scraper in the world, a symbol of Brazilian modernism. Other significant projects on which he worked include the Pampulha project, headquarters of the UN in New York, Sao Paolo’s Ibirapuera Park and many others. He later on moved to Europe, Paris where he began designing furniture produced by Mobilier International. His talent as an architect has been recognized with numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the most prestigious award in architecture which he received in 1988. In 2010 he opened a museum of his work and he has also established a foundation outside Rio de Janeiro.