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Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most influential architects, has died at age 104, just days before his 105th birthday.
He died Wednesday at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
Niemeyer is best known for designing the major buildings in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, during the 1950s. The project, which created a new capital in the heart of the vast country, was a plan launched by Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek to unify Brazil, notes The Los Angeles Times. The city officially became Brazil’s capital in 1960.
According to The UK Telegraph, his other key achievements include Sao Paulo’s Cicillo Matarazzo pavilion and the National Museum of Brazil, which opened in 2006.
The Associated Press notes that he also designed the United Nations complex in New York and other buildings around the world.
Niemeyer was born on Dec. 15, 1907 in Rio de Janeiro. He continued to work into his 90s, working from an office in Rio de Janeiro.
His first wife, Annita, died in 2004. He later married his secretary, Vera Lucia Cabreira.
“If you go to Brasilia you might not like it, say there's something better, but there's nothing just like it,” he said in 2006, shrugging off critics. “I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness.”