This space, known locally as MON, or el Olho (the Eye) is one of the most loved and most used public spaces in Curitiba city. Considered by many the finest art museum in South America, the building was designed within a landscaped park in 2 stages by Brazils most famous architect Oscar Niemeyer. In 1967 the first section, the horizontal band, was created in the style of the day as an educational institute which was later remodelled and adapted to function as a museum.
In 2002, Niemeyer was back, bolder than ever. 4 years after being awarded the 1998 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) gold medal for architecture, and at the grand old age of 95, he added his final piece to complete this stunning composition; the famous “Eye”, which seems to defy gravity. This final act of creation was to inspire the very last change of use of this unique building; on July 8, 2003, the building was re-inaugurated! No longer just a Niemeyer designed art gallery, now, with the eye, it was to become MON, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, a museum in honour of him and his long lifetime of work, creativity and passion for art, for architecture, for people, for Brazil.
In a fitting tribute to this “communist” architect, his space has become one of the most loved and most used public spaces in the city. On any Sunday you will see all strands of Curitiba society enjoying his creation; young punk rock kids hanging out, chatting, laughing together and playing guitar on the steps, families wandering around and through the vast mural filled open spaces to the green landscaped areas of Burle Marx beyond, artistic souls gaping in awe and focusing their camera lens to catch that perfect shot which captures the essence of Curitiba, the eye, the soul of Oscar Niemeyer.
Oscar Niemeyer sketching designs
Great Architects – Oscar Niemeyer – 1988 Pritzker Prize Laureate
Doc: Oscar Niemeyer – O Arquiteto do Século
Oscar Niemeyer – A vida é um sopro
Oscar Niemeyer – A vida é um sopro (2a parte)