There is a moment in a nation's history when one individual captures the essence of that culture and gives it form. It is sometimes in music, painting, sculpture, or literature. In Brazil, Oscar Niemeyer has captured that essence with his architecture. His building designs are the distillation of colors, light and sensual imagery of his native land.
Although associated primarily with his major masterpiece, Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil, he had achieved early recognition from one of his mentors, Le Corbusier, going on to collaborate with him on one of the most important symbolic structures in the world, the United Nations Headquarters.
Recognized as one of the first to pioneer new concepts in architecture in this hemisphere, his designs are artistic gesture with underlying logic and substance. His pursuit of great architecture linked to roots of his native land has resulted in new plastic forms and a lyricism in buildings, not only in Brazil, but around the world. For his lifetime achievements, the Pritzker Architecture Prize is bestowed.