Oscar Niemeyer’s Forgotten Masterpiece

In 1963 Oscar Niemeyer was awarded the commission for the Tripoli Fairgrounds in Lebanon.  Work on the 10,000 hectacre site was halted in 1975 when the civil war erupted.  Today the grounds are quasi public, with a solitary guard manning a low metal gate.  Typical of much of Niemeyer’s work, the outlying reinforced concrete structures are predominantly geometric, surrounded by (now empty) reflecting pools.

A small bribe afforded us a couple hours to stroll the project around dusk.  It was a blustery day with high winds from a storm blowing in from the Mediterranean, affording dramatic skies from a long exposure.  Placed on the World Monuments Fund watch site in 2006, the fate of Neimeyer’s forgotten masterpiece is still undetermined.

Comments
6 Responses to “Oscar Niemeyer’s Forgotten Masterpiece”
  1. Ali says:

    Very nice shots.

  2. Katherine says:

    absolutely stunning.

  3. mfm999 says:

    Hello Sean –
    Thanks so much for these images. As a long-time fan of Niemeyer’s it was great to see one of his complexes that I doubt I’ll ever visit myself. Thank god for “small bribes”, eh? Best from Vancouver, Michael

    • Hi Michael. It’s surreal to drive through Tripoli and then past Niemeyer’s geometric shapes as you leave town. Small bribes are pretty common there. Thanks for your kind words.

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