By coincidence I was in Brasilia as news broke of Oscar Niemeyer's death. I had the great privilege of being invited to witness the return of his coffin to the President's Palace (which he designed) for his lying in state and being interviewed for Brazilian TV news about his influence and contribution to architecture in the UK and impact of being awarded the 1998 RIBA Gold Medal.
The public outpouring of emotion and affection was very moving. Crowds lining the streets of his capital city to pay their respects, all flags at half mast and all TV stations and newspapers with large features about Niemeyer's work. It is hard to imagine such a reaction for any architect in the UK!
I am in Brazil by the invitation of the Brazilian Government, in my role at the RIBA, to advise on developing their new professional body and regulation of the 100,000 architects in Brazil, and also looking at opportunities on how UK architects can collaborate with their Brazilian colleagues. Being my first visit to Brazilian, it has been great to see the Neimeyer buildings of the capital in real life, and they even more remarkable in reality and a great contrast to the brash and busy city that now grown up around them.