Brazilian firefighters have fought a major blaze at Sao Paulo’s landmark building designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer.
A large plume of smoke billowed from the Latin America Memorial, a cultural centre which hosts an art gallery, an auditorium and other facilities.
At least 15 firefighters were injured as dozens of crews went to the scene.
Oscar Niemeyer, who was behind some of the 20th Century’s best known modernist buildings, died a year ago aged 104.
He designed the main government buildings in the futuristic capital, Brasilia, developing a style defined by sweeping curves and stark concrete.
A large plume of smoke billowed from the Latin America Memorial, a cultural centre which hosts an art gallery, an auditorium and other facilities
The Latin America Memorial, built in the west of Sao Paulo in 1989, was empty at the time of the fire and authorities say no members of the public were hurt. The cause of the fire is unclear.
Fire first swept through the 1,600-seat Simon Bolivar auditorium at the complex at around 15:00 local.
While the extent of the damage was unclear, there were fears for some of the art works at the complex.
A spokesperson told reporters that a giant tapestry by Brazilian artist Tomie Ohtake may have been partially destroyed.
Another building in the complex hosted the Latin American Parliament from 1992 to 2007. The parliament is now based in Panama.
The Latin America Memorial comprises several buildings in an area of more than 84,480 sq m (101,376 sq yards) and was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and conceived by the anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro.
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Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century’s most famous modernist buildings, has died just before his 105th birthday.
Oscar Niemeyer rose to international fame as the architect of the main government buildings in the futuristic Brazilian capital, Brasilia, inaugurated in 1960.
He also worked with Swiss-born modernist architect Le Corbusier on the UN building in New York.
He continued to work on new projects until earlier this year.
Oscar Niemeyer died on Wednesday at a hospital in Rio de Janeiro.
A memorial service will be held in the presidential palace in Brasilia on Thursday.
Oscar Niemeyer’s family was informed of the honor in a phone call from President Dilma Rousseff.
“Brazil has lost today one of its geniuses, It is a day to lament his death. It is a day to acclaim his life.”
Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Eduardo Paes has declared three days of mourning in Oscar Niemeyer’s home city.
It is thought he will be buried there on Friday.
Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed some of the 20th Century’s most famous modernist buildings, has died just before his 105th birthday
Oscar Niemeyer started his career in the 1930s, when Brazil was still copying neoclassical European architecture and designing ornate palace-like buildings.
His bold futuristic designs in Brasilia made the new capital a dramatic statement of confidence in the future of Brazil, and an icon of modern architecture.
A student of Le Corbusier, he developed a distinctive style defined by stark concrete and sweeping curves.
He famously once said the stylized swoops in his buildings were inspired by the curves of Brazilian women.
“When you have a large space to conquer, the curve is the natural solution,” he said.
“I once wrote a poem about the curve. The curve I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean and on the body of the beloved woman.”
A firm communist – and a personal friend of Cuban leader Fidel Castro – Oscar Niemeyer fled the country during Brazil’s military dictatorship and forged an international career while in exile in France.
In 1988, Oscar Niemeyer was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize.
His style was not to everyone’s taste, and for a communist some people say his work was not very people-friendly – focusing more on the architecture’s form than on its inhabitants or functionality.
Oscar Niemeyer went on to create more than 600 buildings around the world. His legacy endures in museums, monuments, schools and churches in Brazil and beyond.
Many of the designs were initially sketched on a table overlooking his beloved Rio de Janeiro and its famous Copacabana beach, replete with the women, waves and hills from which he drew such inspiration.