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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

Leland M. Roth

(b Detroit, MI, July 7, 1869; d Southampton, NY, Oct 18, 1956).

American architect, urban planner and writer. Atterbury studied at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and travelled in Europe. He studied architecture at Columbia University, New York and worked in the office of McKim, Mead & White before completing his architecture studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Atterbury’s early work consisted of suburban and weekend houses for wealthy industrialists, such as the Henry W. de Forest House (1898) in Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island, NY. De Forest was a leader in the philanthropic movement to improve workers’ housing, an interest that Atterbury shared; through him Atterbury was given the commission for the model housing community of Forest Hills Gardens, NY, begun in 1909 under the sponsorship of the Russell Sage Foundation; the co-planners and landscape designers were the brothers John Charles Olmsted (1852–1920) and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr (1870–1957), the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted. Atterbury developed a system of precast concrete panels to build a varied group of multiple units and town houses suggesting an English country hamlet. He continued his research into prefabrication largely at his own expense throughout his life....

Article

(b Elgin, 1838; d New York, 1925).

Scottish architect, designer and writer. Trained as an architect, he moved to Liverpool, Lancs, in 1856 and set up an architectural practice with his brother William James Audsley (b 1833) in 1863. With him he wrote Handbook of Christian Symbolism (1865), and together they designed a number of buildings in and around Liverpool, among them the Welsh Presbyterian Church, Prince’s Road, Toxteth (1865–7), Christ Church, Kensington (1870), and the church of St Margaret, Belmont Road, Anfield (1873). For the merchant William Preston they designed the church of St Mary (1873) in the grounds of his house, Ellel Grange, Lancs. Other commissions were for a synagogue and a tennis club. He was among the earliest publishers to exploit the graphic potential of chromolithography, and, contrary to other major books on ornament, he made a case for classifying designs by their basic motif rather than by nationality. He was an expert on Japanese art, lecturing on the subject and between ...

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...

Article

(b San Francisco, Jan 8, 1873; d New York, April 21, 1954).

American architect, teacher and writer. He studied engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1895, and then went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1896), where he entered the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal and received his diploma in 1900. In 1901 he joined the New York office of Cass Gilbert as a draughtsman, later going into partnership (1903–12) with F. Livingston Pell and, until 1922, with Frank J. Helmle. His earliest major commissions were won in competitions, including those for the Maryland Institute (1908–13) in Baltimore, a variation on a Florentine palazzo, and the classical Municipal Group building (1916–17) in Springfield, MA. From 1907 to the mid-1930s he lectured at the Columbia School of Architecture, which followed the Beaux-Arts educational system. The vertically expressive Bush Terminal Tower (1920–24) on 42nd Street, New York, with its prominent position and slight setbacks in buff, white and black brick, marked his début as an influential skyscraper designer and he maintained his leading position through the 1920s and 1930s. Both in his work and writing for the media, Corbett explored the creative potential of the ‘setback’ restrictions of the New York zoning laws of ...

Article

Douglass Shand-Tucci

(b Hampton Falls, NH, Dec 16, 1863; d Boston, Sept 22, 1942).

American architect and writer. Cram was the leading Gothic Revival architect in North America in the first half of the 20th century, at the head of an informal school known as the Boston Gothicists, who transformed American church design.

In 1881 Cram was apprenticed to the firm of Rotch & Tilden in Boston. His letters on artistic subjects to the Boston Transcript led to his appointment as the journal’s art critic by the mid-1880s. In 1886 he began his first European tour. In 1888 he founded the firm of Cram & Wentworth with Charles Wentworth (1861–97). With the arrival of Bertram Goodhue, the firm became Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue in 1892, and in 1899 Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, with Frank Ferguson (1861–1926) having joined the office as business and engineering partner following the death of Wentworth.

Cram was strongly influenced both by the philosophies of John Ruskin...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b Newburgh, NY, Oct 31, 1815; d Hudson River, NY, July 28, 1852).

American writer, horticulturist, landscape gardener and architect. From the age of seven he was trained in the family nursery garden by his elder brother Charles Downing (1802–85), an experimental horticulturist. Before he was 15, Downing came under the influence of André Parmentier (1780–1830), a Dutch-trained landscape gardener, and he studied the 700-acre estate that Parmentier had landscaped in the English manner at Hyde Park, NY. Downing was also influenced by the mineralogist Baron Alois von Lederer (1773–1842) and the landscape painter Raphael Hoyle (1804–38). In 1834 Downing’s first article, ‘Ornamental Trees’, appeared in journals in Boston, MA, and France. His article ‘The Fitness of Different Styles of Architecture for Country Residences’ (1836) was the first important discussion of the topic in America. He expressed enthusiasm for a variety of styles and insisted they must be used in appropriate settings. His ...

Article

Malcolm Quantrill

(b Newark, NJ, Aug 12, 1932).

American architect, theorist, writer and teacher. He graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (BArch 1955), and worked for Percival Goodman in New York (1957–8) and the Architects’ Collaborative in Cambridge, MA (1959). He then went to Columbia University, New York (March 1960), and the University of Cambridge, England, where he completed his PhD in the theory of design (1963) and also taught (1960–63). Back in the USA, he was involved in several unexecuted competition entries and projects (1963–5) with Michael Graves and began to teach (1963–7) at Princeton University, NJ, moving to Cooper Union, New York, in 1967. In that year he became the founding director of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, which became a major centre for exhibition and debate in the architectural profession; he also established and edited its influential journal ...

Article

Carol Willis

(b St Louis, MO, July 12, 1889; d New York, Jan 29, 1962).

American architect, draughtsman and theorist. He graduated in architecture in 1911 from Washington University, St Louis, where the teaching was Beaux-Arts oriented. In 1912 he moved to New York where he worked as a draughtsman in the large office of Cass Gilbert until 1915, when he launched his career as a freelance delineator. Although his first jobs were mostly illustrations or advertisements for newspapers or magazines, by the early 1920s finished perspective renderings, particularly of skyscrapers and other commercial architecture, became his principal work. Working in carbon pencil, he perfected a rich and dramatic chiaroscuro technique that exaggerated the monumental qualities of structures, suppressing ornament and detail and reducing buildings to the profound power of their simple mass. This abstraction of building forms, which had great influence on subsequent architecture by others, began with a series of ‘zoning envelope’ studies, which Ferriss did in 1922 with Harvey Wiley Corbett; these illustrated how the maximum building volumes permitted by New York’s setback zoning laws of ...

Article

Paul Crossley

(b Prague, 1879; d Princeton, NJ, Jan 30, 1962).

American art historian. He first trained as an architect but, in his early thirties, he turned to the study of art history and in 1911 submitted his doctoral dissertation at Munich University on 15th-century stained glass in southern Germany. Under the influence of his teacher, Heinrich Wölfflin, Frankl soon attempted a systematic definition of the formal principles underlying Renaissance and post-Renaissance architecture. His first theoretical work, Die Entwicklungsphasen der neueren Baukunst (1914), was strongly influenced by the visual formalism and philosophical idealism of German art history in the decades before World War I. It isolated four main categories of analysis, which were fundamental to much of his later investigations: spatial composition, treatment of mass and surface (‘corporeal form’), treatment of light, colour and other optical effects (‘visible form’), and the relation of design to social function (‘purposive intention’). His emphasis on spatial analysis as a determinant of style relied heavily on August Schmarsow’s works on Baroque and Rococo architecture. His concept of ‘visible form’ (sometimes called ‘optical form’), which presupposes that viewers derive their experience of a building kinetically, as the mental synthesis of many images from different viewpoints, owed much to late 19th-century theories of perception, in particular to Konrad Fiedler’s and Adolf von Hildebrand’s emphasis on the physiological and psychological processes of seeing, and to Alois Riegl’s notion of ‘haptic’ and ‘optic’ forms. Frankl’s principal debt, however, lay in his adoption of Wölfflin’s quasi-Hegelian model of style as a predetermined, supra-individual force, impelled onwards by its own immanent laws, and evolving from one art-historical period to another through the action and counter-action of ‘polar opposites’: the underlying formal principles of a style are diametrically antithetical to those of the styles preceding and succeeding it....

Article

Gilbert Herbert

(Adolf Georg)

(b Berlin, May 18, 1883; d Boston, MA, July 5, 1969).

American architect, industrial designer and teacher of German birth. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of the Modern Movement, whose contribution lay as much in his work as theoretician and teacher as it did in his innovative architecture. The important buildings and projects in Gropius’s career—the early factories, the Bauhaus complex at Dessau (1925–6), the Totaltheater project for Berlin, the housing estates and prefabricated dwellings—were all more than immediate answers to specific problems. Rather, they were a series of researches in which he sought prototypical solutions that would offer universal applicability. They were also didactic in purpose—concrete demonstrations, manifestos, of his theories and beliefs. His theories sought to integrate the individual and society, art and industry, form and function and the part with the whole. He left Germany for England in 1934; three years later he emigrated to the USA, where he continued to teach, write and design for the rest of his life....

Article

Karl-Heinz Hüter

(Karl)

(b Karlsruhe, Sept 14, 1885; d Chicago, IL, May 6, 1967).

American urban planner, architect, critic and teacher of German birth. After studying at the Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe, with Friedrich Ostendorf and Hermann Billing (1906–11), he moved to Berlin. His early projects, for example for an opera house in Berlin (1911), followed Ostendorf’s neo-classical lines. During World War I he was first an assistant and later in control of a government department that laid the plans for aircraft workshops and hangars in Staaken and for a flying school and flight research institute in Müritzsee.

Hilberseimer’s style changed after 1918 from neo-classical to Elementarism in which, with the abandonment of classical details, buildings are combined in blocks, are given an uncluttered structure and are organized uniformly and, in the preference for natural materials such as brick over the use of colour, can often create a somewhat barren impression. In 1919 he joined the Novembergruppe and Arbeitsrat für Kunst and in ...

Article

Franz Schulze

(b Boston, MA, June 3, 1903; d New York, Feb 19, 1987).

American architectural historian. He studied architecture briefly (1923–4) at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, before taking his master’s degree in art history in 1927. He taught at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY (1927–8), and Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (1929–41), before moving in 1941 to Smith College, Northampton, MA, where he remained a member of the faculty until 1968. His other teaching assignments included the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (1940), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1946–8), Yale University, New Haven, CT (1952–3, 1959–60), Cambridge University, England (1962), and Harvard (1965).

Hitchcock’s immense reputation derived, however, from his research and publications, many of which were devoted to the modern period. His first major book, Frank Lloyd Wright (1928), was followed rapidly by Modern Architecture (1929) and J. J. P. Oud...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 5 April 1938, in Worcester, Massachusetts; died 8 February 2014, in New York.

Sculptor, installation artist, filmmaker, photographer. Land Art, Environmental Art, Public Art, Post-Minimalism.

Nancy Holt received a BA in Biology from Tufts University in 1960 and then briefly travelled through Europe, before moving to New York City. There, she met influential Minimalist and Post-Minimalist artists, many of whom would become collaborators, including: Carl Andre, Dan Graham, Eva Hesse, Joan Jonas, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Richard Serra. Holt’s early artistic output was primarily photography, video, and Concrete poetry, mediums in which she continued to work throughout her career....

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Cambridge, MA, Aug 14, 1868; d New York, Sept 22, 1959).

American architect and architectural historian. A son of the novelist William Dean Howells, he studied architecture at Harvard University (1891–4) and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1895–7), where his fellow students included two of his future collaborators: I. N. Phelps Stokes (1867–1944) and Raymond Hood. In 1897 Howells and Stokes formed a partnership in New York. Notable examples of their work include the Neo-classical style St Paul’s Chapel (1904–7) at Columbia University, New York, a design proposal (1908) for the New York Municipal Building, and the Paint Hall (1913) music building at Harvard University. Thereafter Howells’s interest in commercial skyscraper architecture came to dominate the partnership, while Stokes contributed to low-cost public housing projects in New York.

In 1922 Howells was invited to collaborate with Hood and the French engineer Jacques André Fouilhoux (1881–1934), in the ...

Article

Benjamin Flowers

(b New York, March 14, 1921; d New York, Jan 7, 2013).

American architectural critic. Ada Louise Huxtable (Landman) is one of the best known American architecture critics in the post-World War II era (and one of the few women working in that field). Educated at Hunter College and New York University, she has written prolifically on the many successes and shortcomings of American architecture and urbanism. Huxtable is notable for her wide-ranging eye and sharp pen.

Huxtable spent several years early in her career working at the architecture department of the Museum of Modern Art. She later wrote for both Progressive Architecture and Arts Magazine. In 1958 she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship to support her research on “structural and design advances of American architecture.” In 1963 she was appointed chief architecture critic for the New York Times, a post she held until 1982. In the nearly two decades she was at the Times, Huxtable polished the quick and taut critical style for which she had already developed a reputation. Commenting on the unconscionable civic bungling that allowed the demolition of Pennsylvania Station (by ...

Article

Franz Schulze

(Cortelyou)

(b Cleveland, OH, July 8, 1906; d New Canaan, CT, Jan 25, 2005).

American architect, critic, and collector. The son of a well-to-do lawyer, he early displayed a keen natural intelligence that was diligently cultivated by his mother. He enrolled as an undergraduate at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, in 1923. A restless nature drew him successively to disciplines as diverse as music, the classics, and philosophy, while emotional turmoil led to several breakdowns that delayed his graduation until 1930. By then, however, he had developed a close friendship with the young art historian Alfred H. Barr jr, who in 1929 assumed the directorship of the new Museum of Modern Art in New York. At about the same time Johnson met another art historian, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, whose article on J(acobus) J(ohannes) P(ieter) Oud (‘The Architectural Work of J. J. P. Oud’, The Arts, xiii/2 (Feb 1928), pp. 97–103) had suddenly focused Johnson’s scattered mental energies on architecture and, more specifically, on modern European architecture of the 1920s....

Article

Mardges Bacon

(b Poughkeepsie, NY, Aug 31, 1917; d Riverside, RI, August 10, 1997).

American architectural and cultural historian and critic. Jordy received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bard College, New York, in 1939. From 1939 to 1942 he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. After service in the US Army during World War II, Jordy resumed his graduate work at Yale University where he received his PhD in American Studies in 1948. At Yale he held positions of Instructor and Assistant Professor in the History of Art and American Studies until 1955 when he arrived at Brown University to assume the post of Associate Professor, later Professor, and until 1986 Henry Ledyard Goddard Professor of Art.

Jordy’s scholarship was remarkably broad. His first book Henry Adams: Scientific Historian showed how his subject’s “scientific” view of history was paradoxically enmeshed in cultural, aesthetic and intellectual concerns. In a 1952 New York Times review Henry Steele Commager called it, “The most penetrating study of Henry Adams yet written.” Jordy soon shifted his intellectual focus toward architecture and urbanism through his associations with the social historian ...