Paulo Mendes da Rocha

  • Oscar Niemeyer, Copan Building, 1966, São Paulo. Photo: Leonardo Finotti.

    Oscar Niemeyer


    IN SOME WAYS it’s difficult for me to speak about Oscar Niemeyer, because we were so close. But it is also difficult to discuss his work because Oscar fundamentally changed what it meant to be an architect. He gave our field new prestige, elevating its role both for my generation and within world culture, transforming international modernism itself—an achievement that goes back to his involvement with the Ministry of Education and Health headquarters in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1930s and early ’40s. Brazilian architect Lúcio Costa had been appointed to design the