ARCHITECTS | Rio de Janeiro 2010.09.10 :: Oscar Niemeyer Receives the Spanish Order of Arts and Letters

Photos > Felipe Dana   AP Photo

top: 102-year-old Oscar Niemeyer just before receiving the award from Spain’s Minister of Culture Ángeles González-Sinde (below), in his office on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Friday 10 September 2010.

Niemeyer received the award on 6 November 2009, but his health precluded his visiting Spain to pick up his new Orden de las Artes y las Letras de España (Spanish Order of Arts and Letters) medal, so Spain’s Minister of Culture travelled to Rio to pay her respects to the world’s longest-living architect.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Brasília Photo > Wikimedia Commons

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This award recognizes “his career and his contribution to the international dissemination of Spanish culture, encouraging their greater knowledge and appreciation for the citizens of other countries, in particular for the important influence of his work in shaping contemporary architecture” says a note by Spain’s Council of Ministers.

Past recipients of the decoration include Joan Baez, Richard Serra, Haruki Murakami, Richard Peña, la Musée du Louvre, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Niemeyer is the first architect to be given the award.

Niemeyer has been awarded, among others, the Lenin Peace Prize (1963), the Pritzker Prize (1988), Prince of Asturias Prize (1989), the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale (1996), and the UNESCO Prize Culture (2001).

The Master of the Curve recently completed his largest European project to date in the Spanish city of Aviles.

Named the Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer, the massive project is aimed at doing for Aviles what Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum did to Bilbao. The centre recently had its soft opening and will be officially inaugurated in the spring of 2011.

Congratulations, Mr. Niemeyer!

designKULTUR | ARCHITECTS | Copacabana 2007.12.12 :: Oscar Niemeyer Becomes a »Grand Commander of the Legion of Honour«

AP | Brazilian Architect Niemeyer Given Spanish Award

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