Niemeyer, an inspiration to generations of young Brazilian architects, is best known for designing most of the civic and government building of Brasilia, including the Roman Catholic Cathedral that earned him the 1988 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
He began working as an architect in the 1930s and was influenced by the work of Le Corbusier, although he claimed to be more interested in free-flowing curves than straight lines and modelled a number of his buildings around the figure of a woman’s body.
In his home town of Rio de Janeiro, Niemeyer’s many projects include the Sambadrome carnival stadium, while others in Brazil encompass the Museum of Contemporary Art across the bay in Niterói and his early Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Belo Horizonte.
Over the course of his nine-decade career he was also responsible for the design of many buildings outside of Brazil, such as the U.N. Secretariat in New York and the Communist Party headquarters in Paris.
The architect had been battling kidney and stomach problems and died of respiratory failure on Wednesday.
Brazil’s largest newspaper first announced the news and have named Niemeyer “the concrete poet”, while Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Eduardo Paes has declared three days of mourning.