Brazil unveils daring new Niemeyer design

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The Independent Online

The state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil on Thursday unveiled a glittering new government complex by legendary architect Oscar Niemeyer, still showing a flair for dramatic design at the age of 102.

His latest creation covers an expanse of 804,000 square meters, including a 265,000 square meter building housing the new seat of government.

With the opening of the new complex, Belo Horizonte, the regional capital of Minas Gerais, becomes the city with the greatest number of buildings by Niemeyer - 14.

During his seven-decade career, Niemeyer has designed more than 600 projects around the world, and is famous for some of Brazil's most distinctive buildings.

His works include a suite of government building in the national capital city Brasilia and the headquarters for the United Nations in New York.

Later this year he is to unveil the Aviles International Cultural Center in Spain.

Niemeyer also is overseeing the renovation of the central avenue of the Sambodrome, where the most famous of Brazil's glitz-and-flesh Carnival parades are held.

The architect, who was born in 1907 in Rio de Janeiro, where he still lives, said in a recent interview that the curves and sweeping lines that typify his style were inspired by "the body of the Brazilian woman."

His numerous awards include the Pritzker, the Nobel prize of architecture, which he won in 1988.