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Sunday, December 1, 2013

fire in Simon Bolivar auditorium in Brazil...

Heard of this architect… - Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho (1907 – 2012; yes 102 years), known as Oscar Niemeyer  - a Brazilian architect, considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city that became Brazil's capital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Both lauded and criticized for being a "sculptor of monuments", Niemeyer was hailed as a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters.

The Oscar Niemeyer Museum focuses on the visual arts, architecture and design. For its magnificence, beauty and for the importance of the collection, it represents a cultural institution of international significance.  This building being the 1st building designed by Niemeyer in 1967  is a true example of architecture allied with art. The museum features many of Niemeyer's signature elements: bold geometric forms, sculptural curved volumes placed prominently to contrast with rectangular volumes, sinuous ramps for pedestrians, large areas of white painted concrete, and areas with vivid murals or paintings.

The fire department of Brazil's biggest city says a fire swept through a large auditorium in Sao Paulo's Latin America Memorial, a political, cultural and leisure complex designed by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer. According to reports quoting Fire officials, the 1,600-seat Simon Bolivar auditorium was empty at the time. Two firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation. The extent of the damage of the frie was not immediately known. The memorial occupies an area of some 9,000 square feet and was inaugurated in 1989 to promote the cultural, political, social and economic integration of Latin America.

The headquarters of the Latin American Parliament is part of the memorial that hosted the Latin American Parliament from 1992 to 2007. The parliament is now based in Panama. It was not damaged by the fire.

Reports suggest that a  large plume of smoke billowed from the Latin America Memorial, a cultural centre which hosts an art gallery, an auditorium and other facilities. At least 15 firefighters were injured as dozens of crews went to the scene. Fire first swept through the 1,600-seat Simon Bolivar auditorium at the complex at around 15:00 local time (17:00 GMT). While the extent of the damage was unclear, there are fears for some of the art works at the complex. A spokesperson told reporters that a giant tapestry by Brazilian artist Tomie Ohtake may have been partially destroyed.

Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century's most famous modernist buildings, died just before his 105th birthday. He rose to international fame as the architect of the main government buildings in the futuristic Brazilian capital, Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960. He also worked with Swiss-born modernist architect Le Corbusier on the UN building in New York.

Oscar Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s, when Brazil was still copying neoclassical European architecture and designing ornate palace-like buildings. Life is said to begin at 40. But the fun never died at 98  to world-renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who took  his secretary - nearly 40 years his junior - up the aisle.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

30th Nov. 2013.

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