• Ivan Jordan RIBA

Niemeyer or Neymar?

Updated: Feb 13, 2019

Snacking on a falafel wrap in Gatwick airport, I realised the young man next to me was speaking Portuguese on his phone. He was in London to work for six months, over from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Gosh, I said, so what do you think of Oscar Niemeyer? He looked disappointed. I don't like him, he said, he falls over too much.

Oscar Niemeyer died in 2012, 10 days short of his 105th birthday. He might have fallen over a lot, it's possible, but, he definitely produced an incredible, unique canon of expressive, sculpted modernist works, which to many defined the architecture of Brazil in the 20th century.

His influence was world-wide. I recommend a look at his Wikipedia page, and, after you have recovered, check out Future Systems Lords Media Centre. Familiar?

Neymar, the chap my new friend thought I referred to, is a perhaps equally prodigious talent - the international footballer.

I didn't correct him. It was far too much fun having a conversation at cross purposes. What did he think of the curves, the form, the hierarchy?

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