Oscar Niemeyer, the modernist Brazilian architect known for his futuristic designs in concrete, has died just a week before his 105th birthday.

Niemeyer's innovative design defined the identity of modern Brazil, and influenced urban landscapes around the globe.

Best-known for his work on civic buildings for planned city Brasilia in 1960, Niemeyer was also part of the team which designed the iconic United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York. His innovative work in exploring how reinforced concrete could be used to create beautiful buildings affected 20th and 21st century architecture.

Niemeyer had been hospitalised for stomach and kidney complaints since November. His death was caused by a lung infection, which developed this week. His body will lie in state at the presidential palace in Brasilia.

brasilia Cathedral of Brasilia, an architectural landmark created by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in Brasilia, Brazil

Niemeyer was born in Rio de Janiero, where he also attended art school. In the 1930s his career began, and he quickly became acclaimed for his work. By the mid-20th century, he had achieved international recognition and was one of Brazil's most prominent architects.

Following his collaboration with modern architect pioneer Le Corbusier on the UN Secretariat, he was invited to teach at Yale University and Harvard School of Design.

Niemeyer's stand-out moment came in 1956, when he was asked to design significant buildings in Brasilia, soon to be Brazil's new capital, by the country's new president. Neimeyer was part of the development of the city: transforming an area of remote land into a staggeringly beautiful and contemporary urbanisation.

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  • Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, 104, bottom center, Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, center left, and Brazil Olympic Committee President Carlos Arthur Nuzman, center right, applaud during the Sambadrome opening ceremony after being reformed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The Sambadrome parade grounds, that hosts Brazil's Carnival celebrations, was designed by Niemeyer. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

  • Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer poses for the press in the Niemeyer Foundation building in Niteroi, on December 15, 2010, during his 103th birthday celebration. (CAIO LEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People attend the inauguration of the Oscar Niemeyer foundation building in Niteroi, Brazil, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

  • A man takes pictures under the skylight at the Digital TV Tower in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. The tower, known as Flor do Cerrado, is a transmission site for television stations for the city of Brasilia and was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

  • In this photo taken on Thursday April 12, 2012, Ministries Esplanade and the National Congress' reflecting pool and its buildings, designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, as seen at sunset in Brasilia, Brazil. The city, which celebrates its 52nd anniversary on April 21, was awarded the title of Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the United Nations in 1987 and will host the opening match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and will also be one of the host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

  • Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, 104, right, and Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes visit the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday Feb. 8, 2012. The Sambadrome parade grounds was designed by Niemeyer. Brazil's Carnival is scheduled from Feb. 17 to 21. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

  • In this photo taken on Wednesday April 11, 2012, the Planalto governmental palace, designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, is mirrored in its reflecting pool at sunset in Brasilia, Brazil. The city, which celebrates its 52nd anniversary on April 21, was awarded the title of Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the United Nations in 1987 and will host the opening match of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and will also be one of the host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

  • Dancers rappel from the Digital TV Tower as part of an aerial performance in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. Dancers from the group "No Air, Danza Aerea" or "In the Air, Aerial Dance," present an aerial show every evening on a full moon. The tower, also known as the Flor do Cerrado, was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

  • Brazilian football legend Edson Arntes do Nascimento, known as Pele (L) and Brazil's architect Oscar Niemeyer look at the latter's design for the Football Museum of Santos, on November 4, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during a press conference. (JULIO CESAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Oscar Niemeyer

    In this Sept. 10, 2010, Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer attends a ceremony where he was decorated with Spain's Arts and Letters medal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also helped design the United Nations building in New York City. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)