At 101 years old, Oscar Niemeyer shows no signs of giving up on his passion for a hard day’s graft. As his age and experience grow, so too does the gravitas of his projects, as Niemeyer’s inaugural Spanish project proves.
Despite an expected completion date of Spring 2010, the Oscar Niemeyer International Culture Center in Avilés, Spain, is already playing host to events of international grandeur. A world premiere of the Woody Allen film Cassandra’s Dream as well as a meeting of further cinematic hard hitters Wim Wenders and Carlos Saura have been held in the Dome of the development. But an altogether more significant event, the 2009 World Cultural Diplomacy Forum is also set to take place at the Center from September 15-17. This will see 200 world leaders in culture convene in what is effectively still a construction site to discuss international conflicts in culture, fitting given the Brazilian-Spanish ‘deportation wars’ last year that saw the two countries refusing entry by each other’s nationals.
The building was commissioned by the city of Avilés as they prepare to compete for the European Capital of Culture 2016. Spain and Poland have been chosen on rotation to battle it out with many cities throughout the two countries engaging in cultural enhancements to grasp the title.