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Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Public housing, typically dwellings for working-class and lower-income residents built and maintained by the state, emerged from the ideals of Progressive-era urban reformers seeking to improve the living conditions of the urban poor. But by the late 20th century it stood as an emblem of failed urban policies and devastated inner cities. Government-funded housing, beginning with the New Deal (see New Deal Architecture), aimed at replacing dilapidated tenements with clean, modern communities. The earliest public housing was two- and three-storey buildings, although much post-war housing was high-rise towers of modernist design. By the late 20th century, most cities were tearing down high-rise buildings while some were using a new stream of federal housing funds to build mixed-income communities and renovate low-rise public housing developments.

In the early 20th century, urban activists, influenced by the new field of public health, argued that the urban environment threatened the health and morality of impoverished families. Immigrants were crowded into dark, dirty one- and two-room apartments, often lacking running water or indoor toilets. Reformers such as New York’s Lawrence Veiller and Chicago’s Jane Addams and Robert Hunter urged government regulation of tenement housing to force landlords to maintain their properties. Architects such as ...

Article

Hiroshi Watanabe

[Masahirō]

(b Tokyo, June 22, 1941).

Japanese architect. He graduated from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1965 and in that year entered the office of Arata Isozaki. He left to open his own office in Tokyo in 1969. Critical of modernist architecture, Rokkaku took a more intuitive approach to design, drawing inspiration from pre-modern rituals such as geomancy. The Zasso Forest Kindergarten (1977) in Kyoto Prefecture incorporated wind-driven sculpture by Susumu Shingu on top of each tower, creating what Rokkaku called ‘wind-games architecture’. This reflected the desire of the Basara group, of which he was a member, to use playfulness and other forms of self-expression in architecture. Other works include the Konkōkyō Hall of Worship (1980) in Fukuoka City, a cannon-shaped building for a popular religion that incorporates the symbolic geometry of the circle, and the large, ambitious Metropolitan Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo (1989).

C. Fawcett...

Article

Sean Keller

(b Lausanne, Jan 25, 1944).

Architect and architectural theorist with French and Swiss citizenship, active in America and France. Tschumi studied in Paris and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH; Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, where he received his degree in 1969. He established an architectural office in Paris in 1983 and in New York in 1988. From 1970 to 1980 Tschumi taught at the Architectural Association in London, and from 1988 to 2003 he was Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

Reacting to the perceived failure of architecture to effect social change in the late 1960s, Tschumi developed a theoretical position and architectural practice based on what he calls the ‘disjunction’ between buildings and their uses. This has led him to question both the preeminence given to form in architecture and common assumptions (whether classical or modernist) that understand form as the direct product of use, technology, or economics. In contrast, Tschumi emphasized the importance of the social actions that can occur in architecture—what he called ‘events’—as well as the gap between these events and architectural forms....

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b California, Feb 24, 1919; d April 17, 2010).

American architect. An important San Francisco-based architect, Warnecke emerged as the forerunner of contextual modernism in the early 1950s. Contextualism aimed to create a sense of place through a humanistic design approach informed by the pre-existing context of the building’s specific site and the more general locale. This approach was in contrast to pure Modernism, which emphasized non-contextual abstraction without explicit references to architectural history. Spatial volumes, rather than mass and solidity, were highlighted, and buildings evidenced a structural regularity and absence of ornament.

Warnecke was apprenticed in Oakland, CA, to his father who introduced him to the classical Beaux-Arts tradition of architectural design. His formal education in art and engineering at Stanford University was followed by a Masters in Architecture in 1942 from Harvard University, studying under Walter Gropius . Bernard Maybeck and Arthur Brown . worked with Warnecke’s father and became early influences, discouraging Warnecke’s adoption of the Modernist approach to design which dominated mainstream American architecture during the post-World War II era. ...