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Oscar Niemeyer’s golden jewellery legacy

Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian architect who died at 104, designed jewels with H.Stern that are perhaps the most beautiful way to commemorate this legendary man.

9 December 2012

The death of Oscar Niemeyer at the age of 104 marks the passing of one of the greatest architects of our time. Master of the curve and architect for a new era of democracy in his homeland of Brazil, Niemeyer's monumental works are as much buildings as they are ideals set in concrete from the futuristic capital city of Brasilia in the 1950s to the ONU headquarters in New York.

For those who want to have a little piece of Niemeyer's genius very close to their heart, the late architect collaborated with H.Stern last year to create a range of jewellery inspired by his works. The designs for the jewels stem from his love of curves and feminine shapes, as seen in the easy, flowing lines of his sketches, said to be inspired by the bays and mountains of his home town, Rio de Janiero, and perhaps the girls that stroll along its wide, golden beaches. This genius collaboration was the initiative of Roberto Stern, President and Creative Director of H.Stern, who has in the past collaborated with artists and designers form a wide variety of disciplines.

In this case, H.Stern's creative team were inspired not by Niemeyer's finished works but the deceptively simple, sinuous lines of his sketches. "The jewels are extremely pretty and very light," said Niemeyer at the time of the launch of the jewels. "It's incredible how they have managed to exactly replicate my designs. The people who made these jewels are very talented!" The six different lines are named after landmark Niemeyer buildings and translate the loose, free lines of his style into precious metals and diamonds. Still available at H.Stern, these jewels are a way to commemorate this man - and an era - forever. And top of my wishlist for Christmas is one of these small-scale sculptural statements to wear around my wrist that is both beautiful and loaded with significance.  

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