Quotes by Oscar Niemeyer

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Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends, and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live. more...

When you have a large space to conquer, the curve is the natural solution. more...

I deliberately disregarded the right angle and rationalist architecture designed with ruler and square to boldly enter the world of curves and straight lines offered by reinforced concrete. [...] This deliberate protest arose from the environment in which I lived, with its white beaches, its huge mountains, its old baroque churches, and the beautiful suntanned women. more...

I was attracted by the curve - the liberated, sensual curve suggested by the possibilities of new technology yet so often recalled in venerable old baroque churches. more...

Architecture does not change anything. It's always on the side of the wealthy. The important thing is to believe that it can make life better. more...

Camus says in 'The Stranger' that reason is the enemy of imagination. Sometimes you have to put reason aside and make something beautiful. more...

I had some good opportunities. I was lucky to have had the chance to do things differently. Architecture is about surprise. more...

We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just didn't have any talent. All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it. more...

Architecture was my way of expressing my ideals: to be simple, to create a world equal to everyone, to look at people with optimism, that everyone has a gift. I don't want anything but general happiness. Why is that bad? more...

We need to feel that life is important; we need that fantasy so we can live a little better. more...

We have to have dreams, even if they never come true. more...

It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve - the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman. more...

Turning 102 is crap, and there is nothing to commemorate. more...

The date is not important. The age is not important. Time is not important. Life is very fleeting. It's important to be gentle and optimistic. We look behind and think what we've done in this life has been good. It was simple; it was modest. Everyone creates their own story and moves on. That's it. I don't feel particularly important. What we create is not important. We're very insignificant. more...

In architecture it isn't enough to just have the right building that works well. It can also be beautiful. It can also be different. It can create surprise. And surprise is the main thing in a work of art. [] I like and respect Brasi-lia very much. It is a simple city, a rational one. I always defend the urban design of Brasi-lia more...

Life is more important than architecture. more...

A church is something very beautiful. It is nice when people feel happy in it. But I am not a religious man. Look at us, and then at the infinity of space. We are rather small insignificant creatures, wouldn't you say? more...

Architecture is my work, and Ive spent my whole life at a drawing board, but life is more important than architecture. What matters is to improve human beings. more...

The architect's role is to fight for a better world, where he can produce an architecture that serves everyone and not just a group of privileged people. more...

We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just did' have any talent. All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it. more...

Architecture was my way of expressing my ideals: to be simple, to create a world equal to everyone, to look at people with optimism, that everyone has a gift. I do' want anything but general happiness. Why is that bad? more...

The date is not important. The age is not important. Time is not important. Life is very fleeting. It's important to be gentle and optimistic. We look behind and think what we"ve done in this life has been good. It was simple; it was modest. Everyone creates their own story and moves on. That's it. I do' feel particularly important. What we create is not important. We"re very insignificant. more...

A church is something very beautiful. It is nice when people feel happy in it. But I am not a religious man. Look at us, and then at the infinity of space. We are rather small insignificant creatures, would' you say? more...

In architecture it isn't enough to just have the right building that works well. It can also be beautiful. It can also be different. It can create surprise. And surprise is the main thing in a work of art. [] I like and respect Brasilia very much. It is a simple city, a rational one. I always defend the urban design of Brasilia more...

My work is not about form follows function, but form follows beauty or, even better, form follows feminine. more...

Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live. more...

Today, architecture is invention. It isn't enough to just be rational - It must also be beautiful. more...

I have always accepted and respected all other schools of architecture, from the chill and elemental structures of Mies van der Rohe to the imagination and delirium of Gaudi. I must design what pleases me in a way that is naturally linked to my roots and the country of my origin. more...

My ambition has always been to reduce a building's support to a minimum. The more we diminish supporting structures, the more audacious and important the architecture is. That has been my life's work. more...

My architecture is easy to understand. And enjoy. I hope it also is hard to forget. more...

The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it. more...

What attracts me are free and sensual curves. The curves we find in mountains, in the waves of the sea, in the body of the woman we love. more...

Of course, I have given my engineers some headaches over the years, but they go with me. I have always wanted my buildings to be as light as possible, to touch the ground gently, to swoop and soar, and to surprise. more...

Curves are the essence of my work because they are the essence of Brazil, pure and simple. more...

Architecture is invention. more...

Surprise is key in all art. more...

Architecture will always express the technical and social progress of the country in which it is carried out. If we wish to give it the human content that it lacks, we must participate in the political struggle. more...

Right angles don't attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man. more...

I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness. more...

For me beauty is valued more than anything - the beauty that is manifest in a curved line or in an act of creativity. more...

The challenge of a cathedral is very good for architectural inventiveness. more...

It is not with architecture that one can disseminate any political ideology. more...

There is no reason to design buildings that are more basic and rectilinear, because with concrete you can cover almost any space. more...

When I was very little my mother said I used to draw in the air with my fingers. I needed a pencil. Once I could hold one, I have drawn every day since. more...

Architecture is my work, and I've spent my whole life at a drawing board, but life is more important than architecture. What matters is to improve human beings. more...

Sometimes I lose a whole morning waiting on journalists and other people who look for me. But I always find some time for reading, talking to my friends and feeling what is happening in this world. more...

It was the drawing that led me to architecture, the search for light and astonishing forms. more...

Form follows beauty. more...

Humanity needs dreams to be able to survive the miseries of daily existence, even if only for an instant. more...

My work is not about 'form follows function,' but 'form follows beauty' or, even better, 'form follows feminine.' more...

The artistic capability of reinforced concrete is so fantastic - that is the way to go. more...

When students leave college, they are like children who know nothing about the problems of life, and don't have a political stance. more...

I am a Brazilian before I am an architect. I cannot separate the two. more...

I pick up my pen. It flows. A building appears. There it is. There is nothing more to say. more...

I think of myself as no more than 60. What I could do at 60, I can still do now. more...

I enter my studio at 9 a.m. I have lunch here, I return right away to my work and I go out to dinner at 8 p.m. My daily tasks vary very much. more...

I like talking to priests, to Catholics. Everyone has their beliefs. more...


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