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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 (...


Economically and socially independent urban unit of medium size surrounded by a green belt. The term is often loosely applied to various other forms of urban planning. Letchworth, Herts, begun in 1903, was the first garden city proper; it was followed in Britain by Welwyn, Herts (from 1920), and examples in Germany, Russia and France. The garden city idea is usually considered to derive from two quite distinct sources: the social Utopias of such philosophers as Henri de Saint-Simon (1760–1825) and Charles Fourier (1772–1837; see Fourierism) and the model estates and villages of industrial philanthropists of the second half of the 19th century. British industrialists, such as William Hesketh Lever and George Cadbury, built planned communities for their workers, for example at Port Sunlight (from 1888), near Liverpool, and Bournville (from 1879), near Birmingham, along the lines of picturesque, medieval villages, with strong influence from the Arts and Crafts Movement. These model villages or suburbs were laid out with the health of the residents as a principal consideration; they became the flagships of the emerging international housing reform movement, which attempted to eradicate the insanitary conditions of working-class housing....


Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...


Barbara Kahle

[It.: ‘ground floor room/hall’]

Garden hall or room situated on the ground floor of a palace or mansion, beneath the principal room of the corps de logis, serving as a connecting link between the vestibule and the garden. It is a creation of the German Baroque, influenced mainly by Italian forms and dependent on features of garden design common since antiquity (e.g. grottoes, nymphs and theatres). German precursors of the sala terrena can be found in the Grottenhof (1581–6) of the Munich Residenz (see Munich §IV 2.) or in Hellbrunn, Schloss (1612–19). Under the influence of Italian and Genoese palace architecture, spatial compositions that gave on to the open air were developed in an attempt to overcome the small-scale variety and plethora of interior decoration hitherto prevalent.

The Würzburg Residenz (begun 1720; see Würzburg, §2) incorporates the classic type of sala terrena. Following Balthasar Neumann’s design, it consists of an elongated oval, ringed with columns, in a sequence of rooms at the heart of the palace. In its solemn and cool atmosphere, evoked by the deliberate darkening of the colours of the marble columns and the ceiling fresco by ...