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Architects' Sketchbooks, Episode 4: Oscar Niemeyer

There have been reports that, given the proliferation of digital tools and time-saving software now available, architects no longer draw or sketch as we used to. In this series, I'm hoping to prove otherwise, by delving into the sketchbooks of designers – both famous and otherwise – hopefully revealing some hidden gems of drawing, painting and sketching along the way.

After the vibrant watercolours of Steven Holl, the precisely penciled musings of Le Corbusier, and the minimalistic sketches of Tadao Ando, behold the scribbles of Oscar Niemeyer. Like Ando, Niemyer's concept drawings include only the bare essentials required to communicate his modernist forms, combined – occassionally – with the source of their inspiration, particularly the reclined female figure.

Niemeyer emphasized the key elements of the building which define his signature style – particuarly their striking outlines, designed to create instantly recognisable silhouettes upon the horizon. A smattering of people are often included to lend his object-like architecture a sense of scale: In an instant, bowls, vases and flowers are transformed domes, towers and spires.

If you have a sketch you would like showcased, send it over via a message on the official Angry Architect Facebook Page, and who knows, maybe you'll be featured next!

Yours sketchily,

The Angry Architect


Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro


French Communist Party HQ, Paris




Façade detail for the Palacio da Alvorada, Brasilia




Pampulha Church, Belo Horizonte




National Congress Building, Brasilia