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Portrait / Oscar Niemeyer

A Century of Style

Brazil architect Oscar Niemeyer has been dazzling the world of design for 70 years, now on the eve of his 100th birthday, Jonathan Franklin meets up with this maestro of cool at his Penthouse pad in Rio de Janeiro. Photographs by Morten Andersen.

Oscar Niemeyer is inspired by women. These office walls are decorated in kinky graffiti – simple naked sketches that in some parts of the world would be considered sexual harassment, but here in the glorious sunny Penthouse above Rio de Janeiro is beloved as pure inspiration.

Even today, 99 year old Niemeyer is a workaholic. Every day at 930 he arrives at the office (even Saturdays) rides the rickety elevator 6 floor up, and enters this Penthouse paradise where he has worked for the last 67 years. The view from Niemeyer’s office includes the rounded mountain tops of Sugarloaf, the curved beachfront of Copacabana and thousands of bikini clad beachgoers scattered along the sand like candy. The sunbathers below appear casually naked – hardly far from the truth in this Mecca of style and hedonism.

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