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Article

Absalon  

John-Paul Stonard

[Eshel, Meir]

(b Tel Aviv, Dec 26, 1964; d Paris, Oct 10, 1993).

Israeli sculptor. He adopted the name Absalon on his arrival in Paris in the late 1980s. During his short career he achieved widespread recognition for the 1:1 scale architectural models that he constructed of idealized living units. These wooden models, painted white, demonstrate an obsession with order, arrangement and containment, and have associations both of protective shelters and monastic cells. They were designed to be placed in several cities and to function as living-pods for the artist as he travelled. Exhibiting a series of six ‘cellules’ in Paris in 1993, he described how they were fitted both to his body and to his mental space, but were also able to condition the movements of his body in line with their idealized architecture. Although he denied their apparent utopianism, the sculptures can be viewed as the reduction of the utopian aims of early modern architecture (as seen in the work of the Constructivists, de Stijl and Le Corbusier) to the level of individual subjectivity. This suggests both the failure of architectural social engineering and its inevitable basis in subjective, anti-social vision. Absalon’s habitational units also have an element of protest. In an interview for the ...

Article

A. V. Ikonnikov

(Ramazanovich)

(b Kurakr, Dagestan, Sept 15, 1929).

Turkmenian architect. He studied from 1948 to 1953 at the Azerbaijan Polytechnical Institute, Baku, with Mikael’ Useynov. His first buildings, in Turkmenia (now Turkmenistan), such as the district Waterworks Building (1954) above an artesian well in Archman and the building of the Ashkhabadstroy Trust (1956) in Ashkhabad, followed the neo-classical trend. In subsequent years he adopted a Rationalist approach, which combined adaptations to the extreme climatic conditions and cultural traditions of the republic. His first significant building, the Hotel Ashkhabad (1969), Ashkhabad, is distinguished by its bulk, which is emphasized by the deep chiaroscuro of its loggias and the powerful sculpting of the non-figurative reliefs on the terrace parapet. In the 1960s Akhmedov directed the planning of the centre of Ashkhabad, the focal point of which is a main square with irrigated flowerbeds. Its sides are defined by the isolated masses of the principal buildings designed by Akhmedov: the headquarters (...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1937, in Cairo.

Painter. Landscapes, architectural views.

Sawsan Amer received her diploma from the institute of fine art in Cairo in 1958 and works as a painter at the city's agricultural museum. Her painting is highly 'decorative-illustrative'. She often bases her work on features of traditional Islamic architecture, such as domes and minarets, with which she reconstructs views of imaginary towns, as in her work ...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Tehran, March 9, 1939).

Iranian architect, urban planner and writer. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BA, 1961) and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (March, 1962). He worked in several firms in the USA, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, before returning to Iran to work for the National Iranian Oil Company (1964–6). In 1966 he became Design Partner for Iran’s largest archictectural firm, Abdul Aziz Farman Farmaian & Associates, in Tehran, and in 1972 he set up his own practice in Tehran, the Mandala Collaborative. Ardalan, whose work ranges from private residences to master plans for new towns, is one of the most important architects to emerge from Iran in the recent past. His work reflects his particular concern for cultural and ecological aspects of architecture; in Iran it is strongly rooted in an understanding of the traditions and forms of Iranian Islam, although his buildings are in a totally contemporary idiom. Perhaps his best-known work is the Iran Centre for Management Studies (...

Article

Iraqi, 20th century, male.

Born 15 December 1940, in Mosul; died 2000, in Paris.

Painter, engraver, architect.

Kafakian Ardash moved to Paris in 1960 in order to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. He appears to have been influenced by the CoBrA group of painters and his work can be identified within the new figurative movement. His works feature expressive deformations and the fragmentation of his subject matter. He frequently based his work on mythical subjects, while the female body, perceived from a sexual-sadistic perspective, also features often in his painting....

Article

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

Iranian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA since 1960.

Born 1939, in Tehran.

Sculptor. Architectural installations.

New Image (related to).

Siah Armajani trained as an architect while studying the philosophy of mathematics. He moved to Minnesota.

Architecture constitutes his main source of inspiration and he has brought together all his works in a ...

Article

Canadian, 20th century, female.

Active from 1900 active in France.

Born 11 September 1875, in Brampton (Ontario); died 1939.

Engraver. Urban landscapes, architectural views.

Caroline Armington was Frank Armington's wife. She engraved etchings or engraved directly on to a plate with accurate lines. She mainly engraved views of Paris and Bruges, but also notable monuments such as the old Trocadero in Paris or the simple Dragon Court, now gone, and from the provinces of France, such as Rouen Cathedral. She and her husband also travelled across Europe and the Middle East as reporters, leaving numerous images of times gone by and often of long vanished urban views. From 1911 she held solo exhibitions in Paris and she took part in the 1935 Salon d'Automne. In 1992 the Canadian Embassy in Paris organised an exhibition of engravings of moments and town views by both Armingtons....

Article

Canadian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1900 to 1939 active in France.

Born 28 July 1876, in Ontario; died 1941, in New York.

Painter, engraver. Urban landscapes, architectural views.

Frank Milton Armington was Caroline Armington's husband. He studied in Toronto with John Wycliffe Lowes Forster before entering the Académie Julian in Paris, where he was taught by Benjamin-Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris from 1905 to 1936. When war broke out in 1939 he and his wife left for New York. In 1992 the Canadian Embassy in Paris organised an exhibition of engravings of town views by the two Armingtons....

Article

M. N. Sokolov

(b Djadjur, Akhuryan district, July 20, 1928; d Erevan, Feb 24, 1975).

Armenian painter and stage designer . He studied at the Institute of Theatre and Art in Erevan (1952–4), as well as at the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) from 1954 to 1960. He benefited from the advice of the Armenian painter, Martiros Saryan, but developed a style of his own, with an intense use of colour similar to that of Fauvism. The influence of Armenian medieval art is strongly apparent in his landscapes, self-portraits and scenes of peasant life, for example Baking Lavash (1972; Erevan, Pict. Gal. Armenia). His work combines an uncommon and expressive richness of colour with a dramatic monumentality of composition. He had a one-man show in Erevan in 1962 and another in Moscow in 1969. In 1972 his studio was burnt down and a large number of his canvases destroyed. He was also a stage designer, producing designs, for example, for sets for Aram Khachaturian’s ballet ...

Article

Yasir Sakr

(b Jerusalem, 1945).

Jordanian architect . He graduated from Darmstadt University in 1970. Badran’s career is marked by three distinct phases of development, all of which express his capacity for lucid visualization. In his early formalist phase his work reflected modernist inclinations. Committed to a utopian social vision, in each of his designs Badran proposed a redefinition of form, social function and associated modes of behaviour. This phase is exemplified by a low-cost housing project in Bonn (1972) and Handal’s Residence (1975) in Amman. In his second phase his works reflected historicist tendencies by drawing on traditional images for collective communication, for example Queen Alia neighbourhood (1982) in Amman and the Justice Palace Complex (1984) in Riyadh. Badran’s work further evolved into a third stage, a dialectic between modernism and traditionalism, expressed through metaphors operating at two levels. Sensory metaphors present tectonic and iconographic analogies with natural forms and historical artefacts, adapting the designed space-form to its immediate regional setting. Cognitive metaphors endeavour to establish conceptual analogies with the ordering principles and relationships that underlie tradition, through the overall configuration of the design. The third phase of Badran’s career is characterized by a winning entry for the international competition of the State Mosque (...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b Berlin, March 3, 1877; d Jerusalem, Oct 25, 1930).

German architect, teacher and writer, active in Palestine . He studied architecture (1895–1901) at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, Berlin, spending one summer term at the Technische Hochschule, Munich. His student works revealed exceptional skill as a draughtsman and he won the Schinkel Medal (1906) for his design (unexecuted) of an architectural museum. In the following year he became Königlicher Regierungsbaumeister for the Prussian state, where his early work included various houses and shops and the restoration of a residential block (1908), Kaiserin–Augusta Street, all in Berlin. He also assisted the architect Ernst Ihne in the construction of the neo-Baroque Preussische Staatsbibliothek (1908–13), Berlin. In 1909 he was sent to Haifa, Palestine (now Israel), by the Jüdisches Institut für Technische Erziehung to take over the architectural design and building of the Technion, which was carried out in stages (1912–24). Sited on the slopes of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, the main building is symmetrical with an emphasis on the central entrance. Middle Eastern elements, such as the dome, the flat roof with pointed crenellations and the arcaded passages, together with symbolic Jewish forms such as the Star of David, in the sparse decoration, testify to Baerwald’s intention to create an architecture that was a synthesis of Middle-Eastern culture and Western technique. The whole complex was built in locally quarried sandstone and limestone, reflecting the architect’s preference for stone....

Article

Turkish, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active also active in the USA.

Born 26 April 1957, in Ankara.

Painter, performance artist. Figures.

Nouvelle Figuration.

Bedri Baykam, the son of an MP and an architect, began exhibiting his works at a very early age, taking part in exhibitions in Turkey, Switzerland, France, Rome, London and New York. In ...

Article

Ron Fuchs

(b Mogilev, Russia [now Belarus’], Oct 6, 1877; d Tel Aviv, July 18, 1952).

Israeli architect of Russian birth. He graduated at the Art Academy, St Petersburg, in 1911, and practised in St Petersburg until 1921, when he settled in Palestine. After two years as chief architect of the Public Works Office of the Histadruth (the General Federation of Jewish Labour in Eretz-Israel), he set up in private practice in Tel Aviv. In his early buildings Berlin developed a highly personal vocabulary of simplified classicist ornament adapted to the simple materials and craftsmanship then available in the city. A notable example is the power station (1925), Jaffa. His most original contribution, however, was his unique use of silicate bricks, the chief building material in Tel Aviv at the period and an early product of its burgeoning industry. Leaving the brick unplastered, he created playful abstract patterns, faintly reminiscent of Expressionism and Art Deco. Examples include Berlin’s own house (1929), 59 Balfour Street, and the Moghrabi Theatre (...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Sousse, Tunisia, Dec 21, 1940).

French architect, active in Morocco. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, concentrating his studies on urban development and craft traditions. In 1968 he received his diploma and became a registered architect. He left France in 1969 and travelled in several countries, working in Casablanca before settling in Marrakesh in 1971, where he established his own practice. This remained a small one, allowing him as designer to retain control of every detail of his work. In both layout and design, Boccara’s architecture is rooted in the traditions of Islamic architecture in Morocco (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)), which is characterized by refined decoration. His built works are not numerous but have been influential in developing a vocabulary for Moroccan architecture. They vary from the small Abtan House (1984), located in a palm grove outside Marrakesh, to the large, incomplete Opera House there (begun 1984...

Article

James D. Kornwolf

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Buffalo, NY, May 9, 1909; d New York, Aug 6, 1990).

American architect. He graduated in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (BArch, 1933; MArch, 1935). In the years 1935–7 he was in Europe and North Africa on the Rotch Traveling Scholarship. Following his return to New York in 1937 he joined the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). In 1938, with Robert A. Green (b 1910), he submitted a design in the well-known Wheaton College Art Center (Illinois) competition, which aimed at bringing modernism to the American campus. The scheme, which won an Honorable Mention, derived from Impington Village College (1936–9) by Walter Gropius and E. Maxwell Fry in Cambridgeshire, England, and the Bunshaft and Green design confirmed their acceptance of the International Style idiom. Bunshaft was thus among the first American architects to embrace European Modernism, but unlike others, such as Edward Durrell Stone, Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, he never rejected its machine-age imperatives. More pragmatic and vernacular in his approach, he never entered the arena of architectural theory, history, or criticism....

Article

(b Antalya, 1922).

Turkish architect and writer. He studied architecture at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. As a student of Sedad Hakkı Eldem, and later as his teaching assistant, he was influenced by Eldem’s ideas on the nature of national architecture. Cansever began his career working in urban planning in Istanbul. During the 1950s, however, he began to attract attention with buildings and designs that incorporated new technology and materials but also referred to the past. His Karatepe Museum (1954–61) near Adana, for example, had slab roofs of poured concrete, but the open porches and corner windows refer to historical and regional architectural traditions. He adopted this approach for other buildings, including the Anadolu Club (1959; with Abdurrahman Hancı) at Büyükada, Istanbul, which combines a traditional T-plan with a meticulous treatment of details, particularly the windows; a block of flats in Çiftehavuzlar, Istanbul; and the partly realized Terakki Foundation School in Istanbul. This approach also inspired the ...

Article

A. C. F. Morris

(Kamil)

(b Baghdad, Dec 6, 1926).

Iraqi architect. He trained in London at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts from 1946 to 1952 when he returned to Baghdad and established Iraq Consult, one of the most influential practices in the Middle East. His singular initiative was to evolve a successful philosophy of design that reconciles modern building technology and needs with the specific Arab aesthetic and cultural traditions. His commitment to this reconciliation was informed by his experiences as head of the building department of Waqaf (1954–7), the government body responsible for the building and conservation of old houses, khans and mosques, and as Director General of Housing at the Ministry of Planning (1958–63). Chadirji’s search for a contemporary Iraqi architecture was refined during the 1960s. Notable works include the Iraq Consult offices (1965), the building for the Iraqi Federation of Industries (1966), and offices for the Central Post, Telegraph and Telephone Administration (...

Article

Ita Heinze-Greenberg

(b London, Dec 20, 1885; d Jerusalem, April 23, 1950).

English architect active in Palestine. His father was the well-known Rabbi Avigdor Chaikin, Chief Minister of the Federation of Synagogues in London. Chaikin gained his professional training at the Architectural School in London. He served in the British Army, in both World Wars, as a major at the headquarters of the Royal Engineers. He was a Fellow of the RIBA and a member of the Institute of Structural Engineers. His qualification as a district surveyor in London before World War I took him to Palestine under the military leadership of Lord Allenby. After demobilization (1920) he established a practice in Jerusalem. His larger projects in the 1920s included the first buildings for the Hebrew University, designed in conjunction with Patrick Geddes and his son-in-law Frank Mears, namely the Einstein Institute of Mathematics (1927–8), the Einstein Institute of Physics (1928–30) and the Jewish National Library (...

Article

Sarah Scaturro

[Çaglayan, Hüseyin]

(bNicosia, Aug 12, 1970).

British fashion designer born in Turkish Cyprus. Chalayan won the British Fashion Award for Designer of the Year in 1999 and 2000. He is best known for his cerebral designs that reference architecture, geopolitics and technology, as well as exploring the theme of transformation.

Chalayan was educated in Cyprus before moving to London to attend Central St Martins College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours in 1993 with a BA in fashion. His innovative final year collection titled ‘The Tangent Flows’ consisted of silk and cotton garments that had been covered in iron shavings and buried for six weeks in a garden. These garments, exhumed right before his show, had developed a rusty, earthy patina that commented on the beauty of decay by echoing the process of burial and rebirth. Soon afterwards, his collection was featured in the windows of the London store Browns.

Chalayan founded his eponymous line the next year with his first commercial collection ‘Cartesia’ for Autumn/Winter ...