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

Photo > Antonio Scorza/AFP

Photos > Getty Images via daylife

Oscar Niemeyer’s office on Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro:

The setting for a meeting with a visitor from Brasília.

On 12 December 2007, just three days before his 100th birthday, French Ambassador to Brazil, Antoine Pouillieute, presented the architect with France’s Legion of Honour.

If must have been an emotional moment for the architect, whose relationship with France goes back decades to his friendship with André Malraux and other French functionaries who granted him an honourary citizenship so he could legally practice as an architect in France during his long exile from Brazil during the military dictatorship years.

Niemeyer in 1958 at the newly opened Palácio da Alvorada/Palace of the Dawn

The columns of the Alvorada are the most beautiful I have seen after the Greek ones.

– André Malraux (1901-1976)

Photo > Gisèle FreundPortrait d’André Malraux, 1935, Wikimedia Commons

Night view taken 11 December, 2007 of the columns of the Federal Supreme Court in Brasilia in Brasilia, designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and inaugurated in 1960. Niemeyer, the modernist architect who designed the nation’s capital Brasilia celebrates his 100th birthday on Saturday. A number of events are planned to mark the milestone, only a few attended by the man himself. On Wednesday, Niemeyer was made Grand Commander of the Legion of Honour, a French award bestowed in his Copacabana studio.


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