Oscar Niemeyer was born in 1907 in the hillside district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts there. Niemeyer’s architecture, conceived as lyrical sculpture, expands on the principles and innovations of Le Corbusier to become a kind of free-form sculpture.
In 1938-39 he designed the Brazilian Pavilion for the New York World’s Fair in collaboration with Lucio Costa. His celebrated career began to blossom with his involvement with the Ministry of Education and Health (1945) in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer’s mentor, Lucio Costa, architect, urban planner, and renowned pioneer of Modern architecture in Brazil, led a group of young architects who collaborated with Le Corbusier to design the building which became a landmark of modern Brazilian architecture. It was while Niemeyer was working on this project that he met the mayor of Brazil's wealthiest state, Juscelino Kubitschek, who would later become President of Brazil. As President, he appointed Niemeyer in 1956 to be the chief architect of Brasilia, the new capital of Brazil, his designs complementing Lucio Costa’s overall plans. The designs for many buildings in Brasilia would occupy much of his time for many years.
"As an architect," he states, "my concern in Brasilia was to find a structural solution that would characterize the city's architecture. So I did my very best in the structures, trying to make them different with their columns narrow, so narrow that the palaces would seem to barely touch the ground. And I set them apart from the facades, creating an empty space through which, as I bent over my work table, I could see myself walking, imagining their forms and the different resulting points of view they would provoke.
Internationally, he collaborated with Le Corbusier again on the design for the United Nations Headquarters (1947-53) in New York, contributing significantly to the siting and final design of the buildings. His own residence (1953) in Rio de Janeiro has become a landmark. In the 1950s, he designed an Aeronautical Research Center near Sao Paulo. In Europe, he undertook an office building for Renault and the Communist Party Headquarters (1965) both in Paris, a cultural centre for Le Havre (1972), and in Italy, the Mondadori Editorial Office (1968) in Milan and the FATA Office Building (1979) in Turin. In Algiers, he designed the Zoological Gardens, the University of Constantine, and the Foreign Office.
José Juan Barba (1964) graduated from ETSA Madrid in 1991. Special Mention in the National Finishing University Education Awards 1991. PhD in Architecture ETSAM, 2004. He founded his professional practice in Madrid in 1992 (www.josejuanbarba.com), he is architecture critic and editor-in–chief of METALOCUS magazine since 1999, he was advising different NGOs until 1997. He has been a lecturer (in Design, Theory and Criticism, and Urban planning) and guest lecturer at different national and international universities (Roma TRE, Polytechnic Milan, ETSA Madrid, ETSA Barcelona, UNAM Mexico, Univ. Iberoamericana Mexico, University of Thessaly Volos, FA de Montevideo, Washington, Medellin, IE School, U.Alicante, Univ. Europea Madrid, UCJC Madrid, ESARQ-U.I.C. Barcelona,...).
Maître de Conférences IUG-UPMF Grenoble 2013-14. Full-time Professor, since 2003 up to now at the University of Alcalá School of Architecture, Madrid, Spain. And Jury in competitions as Quaderns editorial magazine (2011), Mies van der Rohe Awards, (2015), Europan13 (2015). He has been invited to participate in the Biennale di Venezia 2016 as part "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione".
He has published several books, the last in 2016, "#positions" and in 2015 "Inventions: New York vs. Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, Piranesi " and collaborations on "Spaces of Exception / Spazi d'Eccezione", "La Mansana de la discordia" (2015), "Arquitectura Contemporánea de Japón: Nuevos territorios" (2015)...
- Award. RENOVATION OF SEGURA RIVER ENVIRONMENT, Murcia, Sapin, 2010.
- First Prize, RENOVATION GRAN VÍA, “Delirious Gran Vía”, Madrid, Spain, 2010.
- First Prize, “PANAYIOTI MIXELI Award”. SADAS-PEA, for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture Athens, 2005.
- First Prize, “SANTIAGO AMÓN Award," for the Spreading of Knowledge of Architecture. 2000.
- Award, “PIERRE VAGO Award." ICAC -International committee of Art Critics. London, 2005.
- First Prize, C.O.A.M. Madrid, 2000. Shortlisted, World Architecture Festival. Centro de Investigación e Interpretación de los Ríos. Tera, Esla y Orbigo, Barcelona, 2008.
- First Prize. FAD AWARD 07 Ephemeral Interventions. “M.C.ESCHER”. Arquin-Fad. Barcelona, Sapin 2007.