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Oscar Niemeyer

Brazilian, 1907-2012

Oscar Niemeyer made modernist architecture sexy. In his signature designs, such as those for the planned capital city of Brasília, Niemeyer created a distinctively buoyant architectural vocabulary of sweeping curves, flowing lines and organic forms (attributes that also characterize his seductive furniture). As expressions of faith in the power of modern architecture and design to foster progress, Niemeyer’s buildings have a kind of heroic poetry.

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho was born to an upper-middle-class family in Rio de Janeiro. (His father was a graphic designer.) While in graduate school, Niemeyer began working for Lúcio Costa, one of the few modernist architects working in Brazil in the 1930s. Niemeyer would be assigned to the design team for a new building in Rio for the Ministry of Education and Health. The famed Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier was hired as a consultant on the project, and through him Niemeyer would absorb many lessons in bringing a sense of structural lightness to large buildings — though he would never embrace the geometric forms espoused by Le Corbusier and the members of the Bauhaus.

“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man,” Niemeyer would write in his memoirs. “I am attracted to free-flowing sensual curves.”

Nowhere would Niemeyer demonstrate his love of curvature more expressively and elegantly than in his designs for the principal buildings for Brasília, a project begun in 1956. The dramatic Congressional Palace features two stark towers flanked by a domed structure and a bowl-shaped edifice, for the upper and lower legislative houses. He placed the Palácio da Alvorada (the presidential residence) on a small peninsula jutting into a lake, so that the sequence of parabolic columns on its facade casts a mirror image on the water. Niemeyer’s grandest achievement was the city’s cathedral, a stunning composition of 16 arched vertical supports with tinted-glass interstices.

Four years after Brasília was completed, in 1960, Brazil’s elected government was overthrown in a military coup. Niemeyer, a member of the Communist party, was harassed continually by the junta. He left the country and did not return until democracy was restored, in 1985.

While in exile, in the early 1970s, Niemeyer began collaborating on furniture designs with his daughter, Anna Maria Niemeyer. Their best known pieces are seating furniture — the Alta lounge chair and ottoman and the Rio rocking chaise, which have flowing bases made of sheets of lacquered wood or stainless steel, share the aesthetics of Niemeyer’s architecture.

The Alta’s deep, oversized seat pads nod — much like the chair designs of Niemeyer’s countryman Sergio Rodrigues — to the Brazilian penchant for long, languorous conversations. Examples of both designs are priced at about $20,000, depending on age, condition and materials. As you will see on these pages, Oscar Niemeyer’s furniture designs are sleek, sculptural, comfortable and elegant — as well as a compact emblem of the work of one of the great architects of our time.

Find vintage Oscar Niemeyer lounge chairs, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$11,541
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Oscar Niemeyer Chaise Lounge Model Rio Prod. Fasem, Italy
By Fasem International, Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Milan, Italy
A sculptural rocking Rio chaise lounge, designed in 1978, contemporary edition. Base composed of three elements including supple ribbons of molded da...
Category

2010s Italian Modern Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Leather, Ash

Side table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1960
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Barcelona, ES
Side table Manufactured by Tendo Brasileira Brazil, 1960 Steel, glass Measurements 34,9 cm × 33 cm × 49,5h cm 13,7 in × 13 in × 19,5h in Provenance Manuel Guedes family, Sao Paulo ...
Category

1960s Brazilian Vintage Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Steel

  • Side table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1960
  • Side table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1960
  • Side table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1960
  • Side table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1960
H 19.49 in W 13.75 in D 13 in
Coffee table by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1991
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Barcelona, ES
Coffee table Manufactured by Tepperman Brazil, 1991 Ebonized wood legs, glass top. Measurements 130 Ø cm x 20,3h cm 47,2 Ø in x 8h in Literature Aric Chen, Brazil Modern. The monac...
Category

1990s Brazilian Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Glass, Wood

Low easy chair by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1978
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Barcelona, ES
Low easy chair Manufactured by Tendo Brasileira Brazil, 1978 Plywood, leather fabric Measurements 70 cm x 114 cm x 46h cm 27,6 in x 44,9 in x 18,1h in Literature Furniture By Archi...
Category

1970s Brazilian Vintage Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Leather, Plywood

  • Low easy chair by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1978
  • Low easy chair by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1978
  • Low easy chair by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1978
  • Low easy chair by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil, 1978
H 18.12 in W 27.56 in D 44.89 in
Alta armchair by Oscar Niemeyer, 1978
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Barcelona, ES
Armchair model “Alta” Manufactured by Tendo Brasileira Brasil, 1978 Leather, painted and molded plywood, steel Measurements 104,1 cm x 68,6 cm x 56,h5 cm 41 in x 27 in x 22,3h in
Category

1970s French Vintage Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Steel

  • Alta armchair by Oscar Niemeyer, 1978
  • Alta armchair by Oscar Niemeyer, 1978
  • Alta armchair by Oscar Niemeyer, 1978
  • Alta armchair by Oscar Niemeyer, 1978
H 22.25 in W 27.01 in D 40.95 in
Lounger and ottoman "Alta" by Oscar Niemeyer / Authentic
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Zürich, CH
Lounge chair "Alta" was designed in 1971 by Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with Anna Maria Niemeyer and produced by Mobilier International. Niemeyer was a Brazilian architect consi...
Category

1970s Brazilian Modern Vintage Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Steel

Oscar Niemeyer - MARQUESA Bench
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Immenstaad am Bodensee, DE
The Marquesa bench by Oscar Niemeyer and his daughter Ana Maria Niemeyer was originally designed in 1974. This iconic design embodies Niemeyer's exquisite curves and sweeping forms t...
Category

Mid-20th Century Brazilian Mid-Century Modern Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Rattan, Wood

  • Oscar Niemeyer - MARQUESA Bench
  • Oscar Niemeyer - MARQUESA Bench
  • Oscar Niemeyer - MARQUESA Bench
  • Oscar Niemeyer - MARQUESA Bench
H 30.71 in W 100.4 in D 21.66 in
Oscar Niemeyer Alta chair & ottoman Mobilier International
By Oscar Niemeyer
Located in Padova, IT
Oscar Niemeyer Alta chair for Mobilier International, France. 1970s. Brushed steel structure joined by plastic knobs, movable backrest, black...
Category

1970s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Oscar Niemeyer

Materials

Stainless Steel

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Creators Similar to Oscar Niemeyer

More Oscar Niemeyer Designs
Oscar Niemeyer Rio Chaise
Oscar Niemeyer Rio Chaise
Average Price
$27,239
Number Available
2
Oscar Niemeyer Rio Chaise
By Oscar Niemeyer
Materials
Animal Skin, Leather, Wood, Ash, Cane, Hardwood, Natural Fiber
Styles
Mid Century Modern, Modern
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Oscar Niemeyer furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Oscar Niemeyer furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Oscar Niemeyer furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 27 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 2 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Oscar Niemeyer were created in the mid-century modern style in south america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Forma, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios, and Branco & Preto. Prices for Oscar Niemeyer furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $1,335 and can go as high as $75,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $20,970.

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