Pampulha Architectural Complex

Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1943)

After starting his career by apprenticing then collaborating with Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer made his mark with this modernization project. The highlight is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, a revolutionary modernist touchstone with a parabolic roof and polychromatic tiles that was such an unexpected departure from previous chapel designs, one politician suggested demolishing it.  Photo 1 of 10 in Design Icon: Oscar Niemeyer