oscar niemeyer

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Headquarters of the United Nations in Manhattan, New York - Oscar Neimeyer with Le Corbusier via Ezra Stoller + ArchDaily

Together the architects would develop several iterations for the design of the United Nations, both collectively and individually. In the beginning of their collective meetings, Le Corbusier encouraged Oscar Niemeyer to abandon his own design endeavors to join forces; however, Wallace K. Harrison strongly encouraged Niemeyer to explore his own ambitions throughout this process. In total, the group evaluated fifty design schemes that were developed over the course of their meetings.

However in a less than ironic circumstance, the two determining schemes for the project were between Oscar Niemeyer’s scheme 32 and Le Corbusier’s scheme 23. In the end, Niemeyer’s strategy that proposed the separation of the Secretariat Building and the General Assembly into two large towers as a way in which to create a large civic plaza across the base of the site was chosen over Le Corbusier’s centralized Secretariat Building and General Assembly that were vying for a sense of hierarchy on the site.

Surprisingly, even though the council had chosen Niemeyer’s strategy as the winning scheme, Le Corbusier pressed his design for the General Assembly on Niemeyer as a better location and compositional design than his proposed two towers.  Although, the change would in effect destroy the large civic center that Niemeyer had envisioned, Niemeyer allowed the repositioning of the assembly stating: “I felt he would like to do his project, and he was the master. I do not regret my decision.”

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Inside the Copan: A City within a Building

To view more photos and videos from the Copan, explore the Edifício Copan and Centro Cultural Pivô location pages.

Towering above the heart of São Paulo, the Copan apartment building resembles a wave wending through the frenetic movement of the city. Designed by renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Copan houses about 5,000 residents in its more than 1,000 apartments. The idea of community stands as one of the founding principles of the Copan, as its communal spaces and sweeping floor areas are meant to encourage residents to come together. Drawing on this idea, Brazilian artist Fernanda Brenner recently converted an abandoned clinic within the Copan into Pivô (@pivoarte), an experimental art space showcasing modern art. In creating Pivô, Brenner aims to show not only the artist’s final work but also the creative process. Artists are encouraged to prepare for exhibits in open studio spaces, stimulating a unique dialogue between São Paulo and its art.