Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer has had a "marked improvement" in the kidney problems that are keeping him hospitalized, his doctor, Fernando Gjorup, said Sunday, adding that he had never feared for his life.

"At no time" did he think that the 104-year-old Niemeyer might die, although given his advanced age the medical team attending him considers all such cases to be "serious," Gjorup said.

"At his age, everything is of concern, but the kidney function is improving in response to treatment ... Today's tests are better, the progress is satisfactory and no indicator has worsened," Gjorup said at a press conference at Rio de Janeiro's Samaritano Hospital.

Niemeyer has been in the hospital since Nov. 2.

The architect came down with the flu last month and, since he was not eating enough, he suffered a bout of dehydration that affected his kidneys, the doctor said.

Niemeyer spent two weeks in the hospital in October and, after a brief period at home, he suffered a relapse that brought him back to the hospital for assorted tests.

The architect's wife, Vera Lucia Cabreira Niemeyer, told reporters she was confident that her husband would celebrate his 105th birthday at home on Dec. 15.

Niemeyer is presently focusing on several projects, among which are a cultural center in Morocco and a library in Algeria, she said. EFE