His curves give sweep and grace to Brasilia, the city that opened up Brazil's vast interior in the 1960s and moved the nation's capital from coastal Rio.
Niemeyer designed most of the city's important buildings, while French-born, avant-garde architect Lucio Costa crafted its distinctive airplane-like layout. Niemeyer left his mark in the flowing concrete of the Cabinet ministries and the monumental dome of the national museum.
As the city grew to 2 million, critics said it lacked soul as well as street corners, "a utopian horror," in the words of art critic Robert Hughes.
Niemeyer shrugged off his critics — and kept working until the days before his death, with engineers visiting his hospital room to talk over pending projects.
His admirers said Niemeyer's work make him an eternal figure, whose influence on his nation won't fade.
"A few days ago, I heard something I really liked — Oscar will never die," Paulo Enrique Paranhos, who leads the Brasilia branch of the Brazilian Institute of Architects, told the Globo TV network. "It's not an exaggeration for those of us who love architecture."
Associated Press writers Bradley Brooks in Sao Paulo and Juliana Barbassa in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.