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Article

Robert Buerglener

[motor car]

Architecture and the automobile have been intimately connected since the late 19th century. The attributes of cars required specific architectural solutions for manufacture, sales, and service. On a broader level, the overall built environment was forever changed by roadside structures designed to meet the needs of drivers.

Automobile factories evolved in tandem with mass production; modular form and open floor spaces provided flexibility in machine placement and possibilities for expansion as production needs changed. Detroit-based architect Albert Kahn, with his associate Ernest Wilby (1868–1957), set a new standard for 20th-century industrial buildings through innovative use of space and materials. For the Packard Company’s Building Number Ten (Detroit, 1905; enlarged 1909), Kahn used reinforced concrete to create modular bays, repeatable horizontally and vertically, with wide interior spans and large window surfaces. For Ford’s Highland Park factory (begun 1909; see fig.), Kahn designed a multi-building complex of reinforced concrete and steel-framed buildings that housed machinery strategically in the sequence of production. In Ford’s River Rouge manufacturing complex in Dearborn, MI (...

Article

A. Krista Sykes

(b Oak Park, IL, Oct 12, 1941).

American architect and teacher. Born in Oak Park, IL (home of numerous early works by Frank Lloyd Wright), Beeby moved with his family to Philadelphia before they relocated to England, where he completed high school. Beeby returned to the USA to attend Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Architecture in 1964. The following year he received his Master’s of Architecture from Yale University and took a position in the Chicago office of C. F. Murphy, leaving in 1971 to join James Wright Hammond (a former partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) in creating Hammond Beeby & Associates, which would eventually become the modern-day firm of Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge. In 1973 Beeby began teaching at the Illinois Institute of Technology, serving as an associate professor from 1978 through 1980, when he assumed the directorship of the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He left this post to become dean of the Yale University School of Architecture from ...

Article

Keith N. Morgan

Founded in 1867, the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) is the oldest of the three Massachusetts chapters of the American Institute of Architects, established in 1857. Dominated by Edward Clark Cabot as its president for the first three decades, the Boston Society of Architects reflected the nature of the expanding practice in the city at that moment. Opened in the same year as the BSA was the nation’s first academic program in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition to the MIT courses, the BSA was soon joined by the first substantial professional journal in the country, The American Architect and Building News, which began publication in Boston in 1876. The Society served as both a professional and a social organization in its early years, allowing members to meet and learn from their fellow practitioners. A parallel organization, open to non-architects as well, was the Architecture Association created in ...

Article

Ronald R. McCarty

American architectural firm founded in 1885 by William Sylvester Eames (b Clinton, MI, 1857; d St Louis, MO, March 1915) and Thomas Crane Young (b Sheboygan, WI, 1858; d St Louis, MO, 2 March 1934). Eames and Young were a leading architectural firm based in St Louis, MO, and they gained a national reputation with numerous commercial and residential buildings around the country, including designs completed for two World Expositions in 1898 and 1904. The firm closed in 1927.

Eames moved with his family from Clinton, MI, to St Louis in 1863. He attended the St Louis School of Fine Arts graduating in 1878. In 1882 Eames was appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Public Buildings in St Louis, a post he held until 1885 when he resigned to form a partnership with Thomas Crane Young. He was elected President of the St Louis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in ...

Article

Christian F. Otto

(b Düsseldorf, 1921; d Santa Fe, NM, Oct 6, 2012).

American architect of German birth. Franzen was a major figure of the first postwar generation of American architects, among them Paul Rudolph, Harry Cobb, John M(aclane) Johansen, and Philip Johnson. Franzen immigrated with his family to the United States in 1936. His architectural training and experience was shaped by modernists: Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (Franzen received his MArch in 1948), I. M. Pei (Franzen worked for Pei from 1950–55), and Mies van der Rohe (especially his Chicago architecture). He founded his own firm, Ulrich Franzen and Associates, in 1955.

Franzen has characterized his work as “collage architecture”: designs that combine diverse forms and qualities. He felt that the first condition of building was “the simultaneous solution of opposites” (as Alvar Aalto defined architecture). From the work of Mies van der Rohe he learned the discipline of precise detail and exacting proportion. Louis Kahn’s architecture offered the concept of served and servant spaces. Similarly, Franzen’s buildings explore open, continuous space, a plenitude of natural light, transparencies between interior and exterior, articulated structure and minimal, undecorated form. But Franzen also expanded the modernist palate to include traditional as well as industrial materials, and in place of unitary form, he promoted an architecture enriched by “acknowledging the antagonism between form and purpose and ambiguities of reality.”...

Article

Elizabeth Meredith Dowling

(b Johannesburg, Sept 7, 1938).

American architect, teacher, historian, and writer of South African birth. Greenberg’s quiet, gentlemanly demeanor reflected the time-honored traditional and classical architecture he created over four decades. His stylistic choices are rooted in research and aesthetics. His fascination with 18th- and 19th-century American architecture is related to its genesis in the American Revolution and the commitment of those architects to expressing American democratic ideals in architectural form.

Greenberg graduated from King Edward VII School, a private preparatory school in Johannesburg, in 1955. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1961. Unlike American architecture schools of the period, his training was classically based and included drawing the historic models of Classical and Gothic architecture from memory. During his apprenticeship, he worked with Jørn Utzon in Hellebæk, Denmark, in 1962 during the design phase of the Sydney Opera House. In 1963, he continued his apprenticeship working with both ...

Article

HOK  

Deborah A. Middleton

[Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum]

American architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Through the acquisition of other leading firms HOK expanded worldwide and in the early 21st century was recognized as the largest architectural firm in the world since 1998, with revenues of over $1 billion annually.

The firm was founded by George Hellmuth (b St. Louis, MO; 5 Oct 1907; d St. Louis, MO; 5 Nov 1999), Gyo Obata (b San Francisco, CA, 28 Feb 1923) and George Kassabaum (b Fort Scott, KS, 1921; d 1982), all graduates of the School of Architecture at Washington University in St Louis, who established their design practice in St Louis, MO, in 1955 with an initial design focus on educational buildings. The master plan and design for the new Edwardsville campus of the University of Southern Illinois became the firm’s first big commission in 1961. HOK’s first corporate building was IBM’s Laboratory at Los Gatos, CA, designed by Obata. Their design objective is to create functional spaces and to enhance the quality of life for those who work and live in them. HOK’s early focus on architectural programming research was a key determinant informing a spatial planning approach to architecture, which, combined with the optimization of the design production process, was instrumental in the firm’s rapid expansion. In ...

Article

Sean Keller

(b Bremerton, WA, Dec 9, 1947).

American architect. Holl studied architecture at the University of Washington, followed by studies in Rome and at the Architectural Association in London. In 1976 he established the firm Steven Holl Architects in New York. Holl is the author of numerous books, including Anchoring (1989), Intertwining (1996), Parallax (2000), and five volumes of the Pamphlet Architecture series (1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1991). His work has received many awards and has been exhibited throughout the world. In 1981 he became a professor at Columbia University.

Informed by a self-professed interest in phenomenology, Holl approached architecture as material poetics, using geometry, materiality, colour, light, volume, and programme to create an architectural experience that exceeds or escapes strictly rational, economic, or technical definition. His architectural language is indebted to modernists such as Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier, as well as to later figures such as ...

Article

Kevin D. Murphy

Domestic architecture in the USA comprises a wide variety of types—including detached single-family residences, row houses or town houses, apartment buildings, and more—as well as structures ranging from impermanent earth-fast dwellings of the seventeenth century to contemporary ‘McMansions’ measuring thousands of square feet in size. What makes housing important are the many ways in which it has deeply touched the lives of all Americans. Because of its diversity, the domestic architecture of the USA has been studied from a range of disciplinary perspectives, from the formal to the anthropological.

The earliest housing in America was built by native populations prior to the arrival of European settlers in the 17th century. While some was substantial, such as Pueblo Bonito (AD 910–1110) in Chaco Canyon, NM, other architecture, such as that constructed by many Native Americans in the Northeast, was transient.

While the subject of housing has sometimes been considered the purview of architectural historians, in fact, at any given historical moment, many (if not most) domestic buildings have not been designed by professional architects but by carpenters, builders, contractors, or home-owners. In the settlement period, the houses of most European Americans were earth-fast, small-scale, one-storey buildings, and were designed by their owners or builders. Given that the earliest housing in the USA was not built on stone foundations, it was perishable and little of it survives; it is known primarily through archaeological evidence. Research has shown that the earliest houses were typically constructed of locally available materials and that regional variations reflected the places of origin of the builders. For example, the 17th-century architecture of the Massachusetts Bay Colony reflected the knowledge on the part of its British settlers of existing traditions in Great Britain, although it was adapted to local circumstances. The Parson Capen House in Topsfield, MA (...

Article

Ethel Goodstein-Murphree

(b Pine Bluff, AR, Jan 31, 1931; d Fayetteville, AR, Aug 30, 2004).

American architect and educator. In 1990, the American Institute of Architects awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Jones (see AIA Gold Medal). By then, Jones had earned acclaim for his Thorncrown Chapel, (Eureka Springs, AR, 1978–80), described by Robert Ivy, in the biography, Fay Jones, as “among the 20th century’s great works of art.” The chapel appeared relatively late in a career that truly began in 1953 when he spent a summer at Taliesin East. There, in close contact with Wright family, §1, Jones assimilated his mentor’s precepts of Organic architecture. Through the course of a nearly half-century long career, he elaborated these precepts in more than 200 projects, including 135 houses and 15 chapels. Among his clients were Wal-Mart store’s originator Sam Walton, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus and Domino Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. While a member of the University of Arkansas faculty of law, President Bill Clinton lived in a house of Jones’s design, the Adrian Fletcher House; when Hillary Rodham moved to Fayetteville to join her future husband, she resided in another, the Robert Leflar House. Observers of Jones’s work note that he created an “Ozark Style,” but with buildings throughout Arkansas as well as in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and California to his credit, it is limiting to tie the architecture of Fay Jones to a small corner of his home state. Nevertheless, working from his studio in Fayetteville, Jones filtered the organic tradition of Wright through a lens of Ozark light, landscapes and native materials, creating works of architecture that unified humanity, built form and nature....

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Monaco, Nov 13, 1927; d Berkleley Heights, NJ, Jan 11, 2004).

Swedish–American engineer. Klüver was known for his important collaborations with artists at the dawn of media art. Having grown up in Sweden, he came to the USA in 1954, and pursued a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. After relocating to the East Coast, he worked as a staff scientist at Bell Telephone Laboratories (1958–68). In 1960, Klüver’s compatriot, the renowned museum director H. K. G. Pontus Húlten, introduced him to the artist Jean Tinguely, to help the latter with his landmark, self-destroying, kinetic sculpture, Homage to New York (a 27-minute event staged in the Garden of New York’s Museum of Modern Art). This led to numerous collaborations, initiated by Klüver, in which he (and other engineers) would work with artists, dancers, and composers (e.g. Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman (b 1935), Andy Warhol, Nam June Paik, Yvonne Rainer, and John Cage), culminating in ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b Long Beach, CA, Jan 1, 1941).

American sculptor and installation artist. He studied architecture and mathematics at California State University and art at the Los Angeles College of Art and Design in 1963 before going on to receive a BFA in 1964 and an MFA in 1967 from the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County. He is often regarded as a key contributor to the development of Post-minimalism and Process art during late 1960s, and he is sometimes credited with more or less inventing the so-called ‘scatter piece’ as a form in contemporary art.

Le Va became widely celebrated for a series of scatter pieces or ‘distributions’, to use his preferred term, that he began in 1966 while still a graduate student at the Otis Art Institute. In these pieces, he deposited a heterogeneous array of materials into loosely configured piles on the gallery floor. Many of these early works featured cut pieces of canvas or felt that he mixed in with other materials such as scraps of wood, puzzle pieces, lengths of string and ball bearings. These pieces refused both the monumentality and the singularity of modernist sculpture, and although these works were carefully planned, they nevertheless introduced an element of chance into the completed object because they could never be realized in exactly the same way twice. Through this element of chance, and through their use of both multiplicity and horizontality, these pieces seemed to extend the implications of Jackson Pollock’s paintings into sculptural practice. In this sense, these works marked a shift in emphasis from the discrete sculptural product to the process and conditions of display. In 1969–70 pieces such as ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American architectural partnership based in Atlanta, GA, formed by Mack Scogin (b Atlanta, GA, 13 Nov 1943) and Merrill Elam (b Nashville, TN, 28 June 1943). Mack Scogin Merrill Elam is an innovative architectural practice whose modern contemporary designs reflect concerns for the bounding of spatial experience. The firm was established in Atlanta, GA, originally as Scogin and Parker (1984); it then became Scogin Elam and Bray (1984–2000), finally growing to Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, a mid-sized firm of 30 persons, in 2000.

Elam received her BA Arch in 1971 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying during the height of Paul M. Heffernan’s directorship and Bauhaus influence there. She received her MBA from Georgia State University in 1982. Scogin received his BA Arch in 1966 and worked with Heery and Heery as Senior Architect advancing to Vice President (1978...

Article

Christian Dagg

[Sambo]

(b Meridian, MS, Dec 23, 1944; d Dec 30, 2001).

American educator, architect and artist working in the American Southeast. Mockbee attended architecture school at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, graduating in 1974. He formed a partnership with Coleman Coker in 1983. In 1995, the work of that firm was published in a book entitled “Mockbee/Coker, Thought and Process.” The body of work exhibited in that publication was described by Mockbee as “contemporary Modernism grounded in Southern culture.” Mockbee became well known for a personal architectural style reminiscent of barns, dogtrots and other common structures. It was often labeled as regionalist and relied on vernacular forms such as broad overhangs, gabled roofs and materials not typically used on residential projects. “I’m drawn to anything that has a quirkiness to it, a mystery to it,” Mockbee said. The Barton House designed in Madison County, Mississippi received recognition in the 1992 Record Houses Award Program and the Cook House designed in Oxford, Mississippi received a ...

Article

Christopher C. Mead

(b Lebanon, MI, June 24, 1936).

American architect. Predock was a leading architect of the American Southwest, who applied lessons learned in the desert to commissions across North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In 2006, the American Institute of Architects awarded him its highest honor, the AIA Gold Medal, for a place-based method of design that has earned him international recognition for his ability to express the geological, ecological and cultural context of each project in buildings conceived as abstracted landscapes.

In 1954, Predock left Lebanon, MI, to study engineering at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Donald Schlegel, an architect in the engineering program, turned Predock’s attention to architecture and encouraged him to complete his education at Columbia University in New York (BArch 1962). A year of travel across Europe (1962–3), supplemented by internships with I(eoh) M(ing) Pei (1962), The Architects Collaborative (1963) and Gerald McCue (...

Article

Sara Stevens

A category of buildings designed to house retail and shopping. It includes arcades, department stores, shopping malls, strip centres, and big-box stores. Retail architecture exists in small towns, big cities, and suburbs: anywhere people congregate. It is as ubiquitous in time and space as the organized exchange of goods for money. It is distinguished from commercial architecture, which, in real estate and architectural practice, can refer more generally to any property that produces income for its investors or owners but does not refer to a building’s architectural function (i.e. retail).

Buildings housing commercial activity have existed since antiquity. Anthropologists have described exchange halls and commercial structures in many cultures, including Roman, Aztec, Tang dynasty China, and Mesopotamian. During the medieval and Renaissance periods, market halls and exchanges were built in cities such as Antwerp, Bruges, London, and Venice, sheltering trading activities at ground level and municipal government functions above (...

Article

(b Nkana, Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia], Oct 3, 1931).

Zambian town planner and teacher. Denise Lakofski was the first child of a Latvian Jewish father, Shim Lakofski, and his Lithuanian-born wife, Phyllis (née Hepker), who had come to Africa to seek their fortune in mining. In 1933 the family (including a son and two daughters) moved to Johannesburg, where, at the instigation of Phyllis, they built an International Style house designed by two of her architectural school classmates. Denise went on to study at the University of Witwatersrand in 1948, following her mother into the architecture department, but left before graduation in 1952 to work for an architect in London. She was admitted to the Architectural Association there, and attained her Diploma in 1954.

In London the young architect and town planner joined Robert Scott Brown, a fellow South African whom she had met at university, in seeking further training in “tropical architecture” at the Architectural Association. They were married on ...

Article

American architectural practice in Boston, MA. Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott is the fifth iteration of the firm founded by H(enry) H(obson) Richardson when he moved his practice from Manhattan to Brookline, MA, in 1874. On Richardson’s death in 1886, his colleagues assumed his practice, moved the firm into Boston and changed the name to Rutan & Coolidge Shepley . It later became Coolidge & Shattuck (1915–24) and then Coolidge, Shepley Bulfinch & Abbott (1924–52), taking its present name in 1952. Known as SBRA in the late 20th century, it has used the name Shepley Bulfinch colloquially since 2006. Shepley Bulfinch’s reputation as one of the nation’s premier institutional designers began in the late 19th century with the first of more than 100 projects for Harvard University as well as a series of hospitals sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, including Peking Union Medical College (1921) and New York Hospital–Cornell Medical College (...

Article

Robert M. Craig

American architectural partnership founded in 1919 as Burge and Stevens, becoming Stevens & Wilkinson in 1947. Stevens & Wilkinson was the dominant progressive architectural firm in Atlanta, and effectively throughout Georgia, during the years immediately following World War II when Modern architecture emerged in the Southeast. The firm exemplifies the kind of transition which marked many American architectural practices during the period, when traditional design gave way to a more progressive aesthetic. Stevens & Wilkinson is the longest continually active firm in Atlanta’s history.

Founding partners Flippen (‘Flip’) D. Burge (1895–1946) and Preston S. Stevens (1896–1989) received their training in architecture at Georgia Tech, whose Beaux-Arts architecture program began in 1908. Established in 1919 as Burge and Stevens, Architects, the firm initially designed traditionally styled houses, churches and institutional buildings, including Colonial Revival residences, the First Baptist Church (1928, destr.), influenced by the work of James Gibbs, and the French Provincial-styled Capital City Country Club (...

Article

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Stonecarving throughout American history has been utilized for various purposes: utilitarian work such as paving, roofing and hitching posts; and ornamental work, such as architectural elements, gravestones and monuments, and sculpture. America’s first professional stonecarvers were mainly trained, skilled artisans from England and Scotland. These men were often called “statuaries” because they were capable of producing highly ornamental carving and sculpture, similar to the work of trained academic sculptors. There was little call for such highly decorative work in the colonies, but as urban centers gradually formed, stone masons found plenty of work in newly emerging cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

In rural areas many of America’s early stonecarvers were native-born and self-taught. Their skills were most often put to use carving gravestones, which were needed in every community. Both professional and native-born stonecarvers produced beautiful, often idiosyncratic carved work. They worked in the “direct” method of carving, that is carving directly into the stone without creating a preliminary model. Botanist John Bartram designed his own stone house in Philadelphia around ...