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Göran Schildt

(Henrik)

(b Kuortane, Feb 3, 1898; d Helsinki, May 11, 1976).

Finnish architect and designer, active also in America. His success as an architect lay in the individual nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear mission: to humanize mechanical forms.

His father was a government surveyor working in the lake district of central Finland and became a counterforce to his son’s strong artistic calling. Instead of becoming a painter, which tempted him for a long time, Alvar chose the career of architect as a possible compromise. He never became a planner dominated by technological thinking, however, but always gave his creations an artistic, humanistic character. He studied at the Technical College in Helsinki (...

Article

Sandra L. Tatman

(Francis)

(b Philadelphia, PA, April 29, 1881; d Philadelphia, PA, April 23, 1950).

African American architect. Born and educated in Philadelphia, Abele was the chief designer in the firm of Horace Trumbauer. Unknown for most of his life, Julian Abele has become renowned as a pioneer African American architect.

Abele attended the Institute for Colored Youth and Brown Preparatory School before enrolling at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art, where in 1898 he earned his Certificate in Architectural Drawing and the Frederick Graff Prize for work in Architectural Design, Evening Class Students. Abele then enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania. Again he distinguished himself in the architectural program, and at his 1902 graduation he was awarded the prestigious Arthur Spayd Brooke Memorial Prize. Abele’s work was also exhibited in the Toronto Architectural Club (1901), the T-Square Club Annual Exhibition (1901–2), and the Pittsburgh Architectural Club annual exhibition of 1903.

As an undergraduate Abele worked for Louis C. Hickman (...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 20 February 1902, in San Francisco, California; died 23 April 1984, in Carmel, California.

Photographer. Landscapes, still-lifes, architectural studies, portraits.

Sierra Club, Group f/64.

Ansel Adams began taking pictures in 1916 on his family’s first trip to Yosemite Valley and returned for the next two summers, working during the rest of the year for a photofinisher, where he learned the basics of the medium. Adams joined the Sierra Club in ...

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 15 November 1948, in Des Moines (Iowa).

Environmental artist, video artist, installation artist.

Dennis Adams lives and works in New York and Berlin. Adams' work focuses on the relationship between architecture and images taken from political literature. He creates architectural environments that act as frameworks for text, photographs and other images. These environments, which are either temporary or permanent, are public places. The series of ...

Article

Canadian architectural partnership established in 1934 in Toronto by Gordon Sinclair Adamson (1904–86), who practised in the city for 20 years. The firm has been prominent internationally for many decades, and responsible for major, multi-complex modern building projects in Canada, North America and England. In 1949 Adamson Associates was the first architectural group in Ontario to establish an in-house consultancy for the interior design and furnishing of their buildings. In 1962 the company expanded into large-scale structural and site planning. By the 1970s the firm was recognized for its expertise in curtain-wall and cladding techniques, and for state-of-the-art, energy-saving heating and cooling systems. The company’s notable projects include the North York Municipal Building (1974–8), Toronto, Gulf Canada Square (1977–9; now Canada Crescent Corporation; associate architects), Calgary, Alta, and North American Life Centre (1986–8), North York, Ont. Adamson Associates was the architectural company responsible for coordinating all the buildings that comprise New York’s World Financial Center, and architects for the pyramidal-roofed Three World building (...

Article

Rochelle Berger Elstein

(b Stadtlengsfeld, nr Eisenach, July 3, 1844; d Chicago, April 16, 1900).

American architect and engineer of German birth. His family moved to the USA in 1854, and he trained in Detroit, in the architectural offices of John Schaefer, E. Willard Smith and others. After his family moved from Detroit to Chicago, Adler worked under a German émigré architect, Augustus Bauer (1827–94), and gained valuable training in an engineering company during his military service in the American Civil War. After the war, he worked with O. S. Kinney (d 1868), and later Ashley Kinney, building educational and civic structures in the Midwest. Adler’s ability soon brought him to the attention of an established practitioner, Edward Burling (1818–92), who needed assistance in the aftermath of the Chicago fire of 1871. Burling & Adler’s many buildings include the First National Bank (1871) and Mercantile (1873) buildings and the Methodist Church Block (1872), all designed in Chicago by Adler and all demolished. In ...

Article

Term used to describe a movement of the 1870s and 1880s that manifested itself in the fine and decorative arts and architecture in Britain and subsequently in the USA. Reacting to what was seen as evidence of philistinism in art and design, it was characterized by the cult of the beautiful and an emphasis on the sheer pleasure to be derived from it. In painting there was a belief in the autonomy of art, the concept of Art for Art’s Sake, which originated in France as a literary movement and was introduced into Britain around 1860.

The Aesthetic Movement was championed by the writers and critics Walter Pater, Algernon Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. In keeping with Pater’s theories, the artists associated with it painted pictures without narrative or significant subject-matter. Dante Gabriel Rossetti took his inspiration from Venetian art because of its emphasis on colour and the decorative. This resulted in a number of half-length paintings of female figures, such as the ...

Article

(b Penticton, BC, Nov 20, 1922; d Montreal, March 16, 1989).

Canadian architect. He graduated in architecture from McGill University, Montreal, and began post-graduate studies at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich. Between 1949 and 1953 he worked for various Montreal-based architectural firms before setting up his own practice in the city in 1953; it later became Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise (1955–69). The group worked with I. M. Pei and Partners on Place Ville Marie (1958–63), then, with Affleck as principal designer, on the Stephen Leacock Building (1961–5) and the Place Bonaventure (1964–8), all in Montreal. Another notable work was the National Arts Centre complex, Ottawa (completed 1969), in which Affleck and company devised a handsome, low-rise group of buildings, including a 2300-seat opera house, an 800-seat theatre and a 300-seat studio workshop. Affleck also taught for many years at the School of Architecture, McGill University (1954–8; Visiting Professor from ...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Buenos Aires, 1945).

American architect and theorist of Argentine birth. She received her Diploma of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied further in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Centre du Recherche d’Urbanisme (1967–9). She moved to New York in 1971. From 1976 Agrest taught at Cooper Union, New York, and at Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities. In 1980 she went into partnership with her husband, Mario Gandelsonas (b 1938), in the firm A & G Development Consultants Inc., in New York. She also formed her own firm, Diana Agrest, Architect, in New York. Agrest was deeply involved in theoretical research, and was a Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, from 1972 to 1984. She was strongly influenced by semiotics and developed the idea that architecture can refer beyond itself, discussed particularly in her essay on architecture and film (...

Article

Richard Guy Wilson

American architectural award. Established in 1907 the Gold Medal’s purposes were several: to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), to recognize individuals for their accomplishments and to increase public awareness of architecture. Modeled on European medals such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Gold Medal (established in 1848), Charles McKim (Gold Medal awarded 1909), a leading New York architect and the instigator of the America medal, wanted to demonstrate that the United States and its architecture had come of age.

From the very first presentation to Sir Aston Webb (1907) the medal was intended to be international in its recognition of architects, although those who have practiced in the United States dominate the list. About 20 of the Gold Medalists, such as Alvar Aalto (1963), Kenzō Tange (1966), Tadao Andō (2002...

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Pittsburgh, PA, March 28, 1908; d 1988).

American architect. He received his architectural training at the School of Architecture (1927–8), University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He worked with Rudolph Schindler (1932) and Richard Neutra (1932–5) who both influenced his development greatly. In 1936 he opened his own office in Los Angeles. His principal early work consisted of private houses in the Los Angeles area, but like both Schindler and Neutra, Ain had a marked interest in low-cost housing. One example is his Dunsmuir Flats (1937–9), 1281 South Dunsmuir Avenue, Los Angeles. In 1940 Ain received a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore a system of panel design for such housing. In collaboration with landscape architect Garrett Eckbo (b 1910) Ain produced setback housing units in garden settings for various locations in the Los Angeles area; most notable were Park Planned Homes (1946), Altadena, CA, and two groups in Los Angeles, the Mar Vista Housing complex and the Avenel Housing complex, ...

Article

Airport  

Valerie A. Clack

Reviser Guillaume de Syon

Complex of buildings, runways, and service facilities for handling the arrival and departure of aircraft and their passengers and freight. Early airports amounted to little more than an open field, where the only architectural features were spectator boxes, some inspired by horse racetracks. Right after World War I, however, the jump-start of air transport activities, notably in major European capital cities, prompted operators to devise new ways of making flight attractive. Well-to-do passengers required better amenities than a waiting room next to a fuel depot, and the easing of wartime rationing on construction supplies meant that steel and cement could replace wood and allow for full-scale airfield design.

In Europe, where the world’s first international air service (London–Paris) was inaugurated in 1919, air transport was embraced as a prestigious form of travel, and the design of airports for capital cities was considered an expression of national pride. Several European airports can claim pioneering status as full architectural works. At Le Bourget, north of Paris, a set of buildings went up in ...

Article

Pamela H. Simpson

From the time of the Wright brothers’ first efforts at Kitty Hawk to the wide-body jets of the 21st century, aviation technology has developed rapidly, and along with it has come a demand for a new architectural form, the airport. It is a distinctly 20th century building type. Soon after World War I, the American government began using planes for mail delivery, but it was not until 1925 that private contractors were allowed to bid on these routes. Once they did, they began to add passenger service as a means to further income. Before this, early airports were called airfields because that is largely what they were—grassy fields with a gas tank and a hangar. The presence of passengers meant the need for spaces to accommodate them: ticket counters, waiting lounges, and baggage handling areas. At first these were modest since the normal seating capacity of the planes was limited to about a dozen or so people, but the history of airports, like the history of planes, is one of rapid growth and quickly changing technologies....

Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in New York.

Sculptor, painter, installation artist. Murals.

Ricci Albenda studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, including courses in architecture, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988. His interest in architecture (as well as in graphic design and physics) figures prominently in his installation art, in which he creates environments which challenge the viewer's spatial perceptions. He uses such materials as fibreglass, wallboard, aluminium and acrylic paint. In his exhibition ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1939, in Los Angeles.

Sculptor, painter, collage artist.

Minimal Art, Finish Fetish, Light and Space.

Peter Alexander studied at the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 to 1962, the Architectural Association of London from 1960 to 1962, and the University of California ...

Article

John F. Pile

(b Resistencia, June 1943).

American architect, industrial designer and museum curator of Argentine birth. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in architecture from Princeton University, NJ, and then taught at Princeton, at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, Germany. From 1969 to 1976 he was Curator of Design for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. In 1972 he produced the exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape and a related book for MOMA. The exhibition offered historical background and a presentation of contemporary Italian avant-garde work and theory. His architectural works include the Lucille Halsell Conservatory at San Antonio, TX (1987); Banque Bruxelles Lambert offices in Milan (1981), Lausanne (1983) and New York (1984); and offices for the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company in New York (1986), for which he won the International Interior Design Award. An innovative designer, Ambasz sought to reinterpret the poetic aspects of Modernism and the relationship between architecture and the landscape. As an industrial designer, he developed furniture, lighting, a diesel engine, and packaging and graphic designs. His work has won many honours and awards....

Article

Matico Josephson

(Hermann)

(b Schaffenhausen, Switzerland, 1879; d New York, NY, 1965).

American civil engineer of Swiss origin and education. Amman was born in Schaffhausen and educated at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, from which he graduated in 1902. After brief employment in Swiss and German steel and bridge construction firms, his ambition led him to move to the USA in 1904.

Arriving in New York, Ammann quickly found work in the office of consulting engineer Joseph Mayer, for whom he would work for only six months. Between 1904 and 1907, Ammann worked for the Pennsylvania Steel Company, in Harrisburg, and Chicago bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski, before settling in Philadelphia as consultant for the engineering firm of Kunz and Schneider. Ammann’s trajectory put him in contact with leading designers of long-span bridges and the most important steel construction problems of his time. At Pennsylvania Steel, Ammann worked on the construction of engineer Gustav Lindenthal’s Queensboro Bridge in New York, and his first job for Kunz and Schneider was to study the failure of the Quebec Bridge in ...

Article

Anasazi  

[Navajo: ‘the ancient ones’]

Term applied to the prehistoric ‘Basketmakers’ (fl to c. ad 750) of the south-western United States and their successors, the Pueblo tribes, who still live in the region. The Anasazi are famous for their communal buildings, many now ruined, which were known as ‘pueblos’ by the first Spanish explorers (see Native North American art, §II, 2). The most celebrated of these stone and adobe structures were multi-room, multi-family dwellings built atop mesas and in natural caves found at the base of canyons (see fig.). Built c. 1100–c. 1300, they are located at various sites, including Mesa Verde in south-west Colorado and Chaco Canyon in north-west New Mexico. The Anasazi also produced painted pottery, basketry, and weaving.

Article

(b Chicago, June 5, 1947).

American performance artist, sculptor, draughtsman, and writer. She completed her BA in art history at Barnard College, New York, in 1969 and had her first one-woman show there in 1970, exhibiting sculptures and drawings among other works. She then trained as a sculptor at Columbia University, New York, receiving her MFA in 1972. Much of her work has built on her childhood instruction as a classical violinist, and she achieved popular notoriety in 1981 when her song ‘O Superman’ became a popular hit in England. Her first performance piece, Automotive, took place in 1972 at Town Green in Rochester, VT, and involved a concert of car horns. In 1974 she staged another music-based performance entitled Duets on Ice in which she appeared at four different locations on New York sidewalks wearing a pair of ice skates with their blades frozen in blocks of ice, and she proceeded to play one of several altered violins until the ice melted into water. In subsequent years, she has continued to work primarily as a performance artist, using projected photographs, films, texts, and music to create technologically sophisticated and elaborately staged events. Many of these performances have featured instruments of her own invention. The most famous of these was a violin with a recording head on its body and a strip of audio tape in the place of the hairs on its bow. This piece allowed her to play the human voice as an instrument by changing its speed and cadence with the movements of her arm. The most complex and spectacular of her performances, ...

Article

Avigail Moss

American architecture, performance art, and video collective active between 1968 and 1978. Ant Farm was founded in San Francisco by architecture and art students, principally Chip Lord (b 1944) who attended the Tulane School of Architecture, and Doug Michels [Douglas Donald Michels] (1943–2003), who graduated from the Yale School of Architecture. They were later joined by others, including Curtis Schreier (b 1944) and Hudson Marquez (b 1947). The group’s name originated from a friend’s suggestion that their practice functioned more like a rock band or a toy Ant Farm—busily and collectively working underground—than a corporate architecture firm. Their work took an ecological approach to collective living. The group operated between San Francisco and Houston until 1978, when a fire destroyed Ant Farm’s San Francisco studio, at which point Ant Farm disbanded.

Michels and Lord first met when Michels lectured at Tulane, and again when both participated in Anna and Lawrence Halprin’s San Francisco workshop for dancers and architects, ‘Experiments in Environments’, joining other students such as Yvonne Rainer and Meredith Monk. Ant Farm’s early architecture and design work was influenced by the American architect and theorist Buckminster Fuller; by the ‘do-it-yourself’ ethos of Stuart Brand’s ...