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Acosta, Wladimiro  

Ludovico C. Koppmann

[Konstantinovsky, Wladimir]

(b Odessa, Russia, Jun 23, 1900; d Buenos Aires, Jul 11, 1967).

Argentine architect. He studied architecture at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, graduating in 1919. From 1922 he worked in Germany, gaining experience in building engineering and urban design, before moving to Argentina in 1928. He worked in Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala, and, from 1954 to 1957, in the USA, where he taught (1956) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. On his return to Argentina he was appointed Professor of Architectural Composition (1957–1966) at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Acosta was an early exponent of an approach to architecture through environmental design and engineering, which he promoted through his book Vivienda y clima (1937) and his “Helios” buildings. These were based upon correct orientation, cross-ventilation, and the control of solar radiation by means of brises-soleil, with minimal mechanical intervention. Like the architects of the Modern Movement in Europe, he saw architecture as a social phenomenon and became dedicated to the provision of mass housing for rapidly growing urban populations. His early work included individual houses in Buenos Aires, for example the Casa Stern, Ramos Mejía (...


Aillaud, Emile  

Isabelle Gournay

(b Mexico City, Jan 18, 1902; d Paris, Dec 29, 1988).

French architect. He graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and worked for a time in the office of André Ventre (1874–1951). In the late 1930s, when he was unable to obtain larger commissions in Depression-stricken France, his activity was limited to ceremonial decorations and exhibition displays such as the Pavillon de l’Elégance at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris (1937), and the Salle de la Haute Couture in the French pavilion at the World’s Fair, New York (1939), which gave him a taste for theatrical settings. In 1945 he was appointed Chief Architect of the Houillères de Lorraine, a coal-mining conglomerate in a drab area where reconstruction and industrial modernization was urgently needed; as well as industrial structures, he also designed some single-family workers’ housing such as the Cité Bellevue (1945–7) in Creutzwald, and this marked the beginning of his dedication to the improvement of low-cost housing....


Alÿs, Francis  

Francis Summers

revised by Martin R. Patrick

(b Antwerp, Aug 22, 1959).

Belgian-born interdisciplinary artist, active in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Institut d’Architecture de Tournai in Belgium (1978–83) and at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice (1983–6). Alÿs moved to Mexico in 1987 and his art practice initially concentrated on Mexico City as a laboratory of urban living, often documented in the form of evocative, conceptually layered photographs, sculptures, and videos. In the slide series Ambulantes (Pushing and Pulling) (1992–2002), Alÿs photographed street vendors and workers as they passed by carting a wide variety of goods within a ten-block vicinity of his studio. For his project entitled The Liar, The Copy of the Liar (1997) Alÿs created small images of suited men inspired by the commercial sign painters of Mexico City, and subsequently commissioned from them larger versions in their own styles. In this process Alÿs deferred authorship into a semantic chain. Hovering between the banal and the surreal, these works have an uncanny theme, of individuals observed in situations that defy explanation....


Antonelli family  

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

Italian family of engineers and architects. They were active in Spain and Spanish America in the service of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1559 to 1650. The most prominent member of the family was Juan Bautista Antonelli the elder (b Gaeteo, Italy, c. 1530; d Madrid, 17 March 1588), who settled in Spain from 1559 while working in the employ of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his fortification works were carried out in the coastal south-east of Spain, where several members of his family settled, although he also worked in Oran and particularly in Portugal as a strategist and engineer. Many of his projects were not realized, including the creation of a navigable river network throughout the Iberian peninsula to facilitate the transport of merchandise from the ports to the interior. Several fortification plans for the Magellan Straits also failed to materialize.

Bautista Antonelli (b Rimini, ...


Arciniega [Arziniega], Claudio de  

François-Auguste de Montêquin

(b Burgos, 1526–7; d Mexico City, 1593).

Mexican architect and sculptor of Spanish birth. In 1541 he moved from his native city to Madrid, where he served as an apprentice to Luis de Vega, one of the architects working in the High Renaissance style for Emperor Charles V. Arciniega worked with Vega in the remodelling of the Alcázar at Madrid. At intervals between 1542 and 1548 he worked under the direction of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón as a sculptor on the Plateresque façade of the university at Alcalá de Henares. He was possibly also responsible for the main retable in the church of Santiago at Guadalajara.

In 1554 Arciniega arrived in New Spain (now Mexico) with his brother Luis de Arciniega (1537–99), who was also an architect. He settled in Puebla de los Angeles (now Puebla) and worked there between 1554 and 1558, primarily engaged in a large number of public works as master mason. He established his reputation with the fountain that he constructed (...


Azevedo, Francisco de Paula Ramos de  

Carlos A. C. Lemos

(b São Paulo, Dec 8, 1851; d Guarujá, Jun 13, 1928).

Brazilian architect. He studied at the Escola Militar in Rio de Janeiro (1869–1872) and then trained as an engineer–architect, graduating in 1878 from the University of Ghent, Belgium, under the patronage of the Visconde de Parnaíba, who subsequently provided him with his first commissions in Rio. His architectural education was based on the classicism of the Beaux-Arts tradition, and one of his designs represented his school at the Exposition Internationale (1878) in Paris. He began his career in 1883 in Campinas, where his family had originated, when he completed some unfinished work on the 18th-century parish church; this project became well known for his use of the taipa de pilão (Port.: “pounded gravel wall”) construction techniques of the earlier builders, a considerable engineering feat.

In 1886 Azevedo began to work in São Paulo and designed for the government two neo-Renaissance buildings, the Tesouraria da Fazenda Nacional (...


Balbás, Jerónimo de  

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(b Zamora, c. 1680; d Mexico City, 1748).

Spanish architect and sculptor, active in Mexico. Between 1702 and 1703 he worked in Madrid as a designer of stage machinery, later moving to Andalusia, where he produced the principal altar of the sacristy of Seville Cathedral in the Rococo style, completed in 1709 (destr. 1824). Ceán Bermúdez described it as having ‘four large estípites, pilasters, lots of angels prankishly tumbling about and a cornice broken and interrupted in a thousand places with tortuous projections and recessions, the whole topped by a huge arch’. In 1714 Balbás also carried out the plan for the choir-stalls of the church of S Juan in Marchena, carved by Juan de Valencia, equally playful in style and similarly using estípites. The same year he designed the lectern in the same church, though this was not constructed until 1735.

Around 1718 Balbás went to Mexico City to take charge of the ‘retablo del Perdón’ in the Chapel of the Kings at the Metropolitan Cathedral, using the ...


Becerra, Francisco  

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Herguijuela, Extremadura, 1545; d 1605).

Spanish architect, active in South America. Both his father, Alonso (d ?1570), and his grandfather, Domingo, were architects; the latter was the Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral (completed 1493). Francisco was considered one of the finest architects in Extremadura, where he was active on a wide range of schemes including the church of S Maria and the chapel of S Isabel (both Trujillo), patrician houses in Guevara, and a chapel between the cloisters in Guadalupe Monastery. In 1573 he left for America, one of the few architects permitted to do so by the Spanish government, which restricted the emigration of qualified personnel. The fact that Becerra was immediately associated with works of magnitude confirms his importance. In 1575 he became the Maestro Mayor of Puebla Cathedral in Mexico, assisted by Francisco Gutiérrez Cabello. By his own account his activity on this assignment lasted for five years and probably included the design and laying of the foundations; however, the plan was amended after ...


Bonet, Antonio  

Ludovico C. Koppmann

(b Barcelona, Jun 2, 1913; d Barcelona, Sept 13, 1989).

Spanish architect, urban planner, and designer, also active in Argentina and Uruguay. He graduated from the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura, Barcelona, in 1936, having also worked during 1932–1936 in the offices of Josep Lluís Sert and, in Paris, of Le Corbusier. In 1938 he went to Buenos Aires and there became a founder member of Grupo Austral, together with (among others) Jorge Ferrari Hardoy (1914–1977) and Juan Kurchan (1913–1972), with whom he had worked in Paris. Bonet applied the rationalist principles of the group’s manifesto Voluntad y acción (1939) in a wide range of architectural and urban-design projects in Argentina and Uruguay over the next two decades. He is perhaps most widely known for his individual houses, and especially for the Casa Berlingieri (1946) at Punta Ballena, Uruguay, and (with Jorge Vivanco and Valera Peluffo) for the four pavilions at Martínez, Buenos Aires, in a manner reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s work of a decade or so earlier, although quite original in expression. As a planner Bonet was involved in the master plans for Mendoza (...


Bravo, Claudio  

Milan Ivelić

(b Valparaíso, Nov 8, 1936; d Taroudant, Jun 4, 2011).

Chilean painter and draftsman. He studied painting in Santiago in 1947–1948 with the Chilean painter Miguel Venegas, then lived in Spain from 1961 to 1972 before moving to Tangiers. His entire artistic career was conducted outside his native country.

Bravo initially worked as a portrait painter, supporting himself in Spain through commissions, which also introduced him into Spanish high society. His sitters included General Franco and his family. Later, while still in Spain, he began painting packages and wrapped objects in a polished, highly detailed realist style bordering on Photorealism but consciously related to the Spanish still-life tradition represented by Zurbarán and Velázquez, whose work he greatly admired. He remarked that he hoped to be regarded as one of the few 20th-century painters to have respected the work of the Old Masters and learned from it.

Working with both oil paints and pastels, after moving to Morocco, Bravo combined objects with human figures in interior spaces, displaying perfect control of the luminous atmosphere and the strict perspective. While his technical facility was undeniable, the ambiguity of his subject matter and the mysteriousness of his settings, tempering the clarity of the figures and objects, led him beyond the mere reproduction of appearances. Unlike the Photorealists, who tended to present their images as straightforward visual evidence, Bravo used his motifs as a way of dealing with obsessions such as narcissism or the random meeting of figures unconnected in time. An illusory and confusing interplay between reality and representation is central to Bravo’s work, leaving the spectator unsure whether what he is seeing lies inside or outside the painting....


Bridgens, Richard  

Brian Austen


(b ?Sheffield, 1785; d Port of Spain, Trinidad, Nov 1846).

English sculptor, designer and architect. In 1810 he exhibited at the first Liverpool Academy Exhibition and showed models and drawings there in 1811, 1812 and 1814. These included designs for the restoration of the screen in Sefton church, Merseyside, and for a chimney-piece for Speke Hall, Liverpool, and two drawings of Joseph Ridgway’s house at Ridgmont, Horwich, Lancs. Bridgens designed furniture and furnishings in Gothic and Elizabethan styles for George Bullock. In 1814 he moved to London with Bullock, using his address at 4 Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, and prepared designs for Sir Godfrey Vassal Webster (1789–1836) for improvements to Battle Abbey, E. Sussex, and similarly for Sir Walter Scott’s home, Abbotsford House, at Melrose on the Borders. Two chair designs for Battle Abbey were published in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository of Arts in September 1817, and Bridgens was also involved in the design of chairs supplied to Abbotsford House in ...


Camponovo, Antonio  

Teresa Gisbert

(b Medrissio, Ticino, 1850; d Buenos Aires, 1938).

Swiss architect, active in Bolivia. He studied at the Politecnico, Turin. At the end of the 1860s he emigrated to Argentina and later moved to Sucre, Bolivia, where with his brother Miguel Camponovo he planned and built the Banco Nacional (begun 1872). Its style is derived from early Renaissance forms, with characteristic mullioned windows, and it is among the first examples in Bolivia of Eclecticism, which was then in fashion in the European academies. He also worked on the Palacio de Gobierno (begun 1892), Sucre (see Bolivia, Republic of §II 2., (i)), and designed private houses, such as the country house (quinta) El Guereo, outside Sucre, and the Palacio de la Glorieta (c. 1900), Sucre, for the Argandoña family, which combines elements of the Romanesque, Renaissance, Arabic, and neoclassical styles in one of the most richly eclectic buildings in Bolivia. In 1900...


Catherwood, Frederick  

Esther Acevedo

(b Hoxton, London, 1799; d at sea nr. Terranova, 1854).

English draftsman and printmaker, active also in Mexico. He studied architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in London and continued his studies in Rome. Active in the Middle East, he made drawings of antiquities in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Holy Land. At the end of the 1830s, Catherwood worked for an architecture studio in the USA. During the assemblage of an exhibition about his first works, he met the American archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens (1805–1852), who proposed to travel with him to Yucatan.

Catherwood accompanied Stephens on two trips to Mexico. On the first one, in 1839–1840, he undertook the task of drawing the archaeological ruins of Palenque, Uxmal, Copan, and other places or monuments specified by Stephens. Under the terms of his contract, Stephens became the owner of the original drawings, with the right to reproduce them. The monuments were captured with great precision down to the minutest details. On their second trip, in ...


Cetto, Max  

Xavier Moyssén


(b Koblenz, Feb 20, 1903; d Mexico City, Apr 5, 1980).

Mexican architect, architectural historian, and teacher, of German birth. He studied at the technical universities of Darmstadt, Munich, and Berlin. At the latter he studied with Hans Poelzig, graduating as an engineer–architect in 1926. In 1927 he took part in the plan for the headquarters of the League of Nations in Geneva, and he was a founder-member of CIAM. He moved to San Francisco, CA, in 1938, where he worked in the studio of Richard Neutra. He settled in Mexico in 1939 and became a naturalized Mexican in 1947. As well as having a natural affinity with Mexico, he was able to incorporate his European experiences into what he built there. The respect for nature he had learned from Neutra is evident in his handling of the volcanic terrain of the Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City, where he collaborated with Luis Barragán, constructing various houses amid the impressive scenery of the place without disturbing the volcanic lava or the vegetation. He also showed skill and great sensitivity in using the materials and techniques of the region. Notable examples of his work there are his own house (...


Ciriani, Henri  

Christian Devillers

(b Lima, Dec 30, 1936).

French architect and teacher of Peruvian birth. He graduated from the Facultad de Arquitectura in Lima (1960) and from 1961 to 1964 was a project leader in government studios where he carried out housing projects at Ventanilla, Matute, Ríma and S. Felipe, all in Lima. He also taught there and designed some private houses (with Crousse and Páez). He moved to France in 1964 and began to teach architecture at the University of Paris in 1969. From 1969 to 1982 he was a member of the multi-disciplinary cooperative AUA and designed several projects including the public spaces (1968–74; with Michel Corajoud and Borja Huidobro) for AUA’s Villeneuve housing project in Grenoble; the experimental industrialized living module Tétrodon (1971; with J. Berce); and he collaborated on AUA’s competition entry (1972) for the centre of the new town of Evry. His own practice included the design of several housing estates such as Noisy 2 (...


Concha, Andrés de la  

Maria Concepción García Sáiz

revised by Alessia Frassani

(fl. 1568–1612; d Mexico, 1612).

Spanish painter and architect, active in New Spain (Mexico). In 1568, he went from Spain to Mexico, possibly because he was commissioned to paint the principal retable of the church of Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca State, with the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation in the Temple, the Descent from the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Last Judgement, the Immaculate Conception, St. Jerome, Mary Magdalene, St. Luke, and St. Dominic (1575–1579). These retablo paintings reflect his style as a Mannerist painter of the Seville school, particularly that of Luis de Vargas.

Between 1570 and 1575, Andrés de la Concha worked in Oaxaca city’s cathedral. In 1580–1581 he collaborated with Simón Pereyns on the retable (destr., paintings untraced) of the high altar in the monastery of Teposcolula, Oaxaca State; and in this period he also worked in the church of Coixtlahuaca, Oaxaca State, on paintings for the retable, of which eleven panels survive: three dedicated to the ...


Coninck, Juan Ramón  

Humberto Rodríguez-Camilloni

(b Malines, 1623; d 1709).

Flemish architect, mathematician, and cartographer, active in Peru. He left Belgium for Peru in 1655 and presented a project for the fortification of Lima to the viceroy Duque de la Palata in 1682. The plan was sent to the Council of Indies in Spain for approval and subsequently returned to Lima with notations made by the Duque de Bournonville. The famous engraving (1685; Seville, Archv Gen. Indias) by Pedro Nolasco (fl 1663–87) depicting a bird’s-eye view of the city of Lima shows the fortification walls designed by Coninck. Appointments held by him included Royal Chaplain and Professor of Mathematics at the University of S Marcos. He also earned the prestigious title of Cosmographer of the Kingdom of Peru, as indicated in the inscription of a map of the Rio de la Plata by his hand (Seville, Archv Gen. Indias), and in 1696 he published in Lima an important treatise on geometry entitled ...


Costa e Silva, José da  

Zilah Quezado Deckker

(b Povos, nr Lisbon, July 25, 1747; d Rio de Janeiro, March 21, 1819).

Portuguese architect, active also in Brazil. He studied in Italy under royal patronage, a pattern of artistic education established in Portugal at the beginning of the 18th century. He went first to Bologna, in 1769, becoming a member of the Accademia in 1775. He subsequently went to Rome, making an extensive tour of Italy before returning to Lisbon in 1779. In 1781 he was invited to run the school of architecture at the new Academia do Nu in Lisbon, founded under Mary I. He also became an honorary member of the Accademia di S Luca, Rome. In 1785 he completed the sanctuary of the Italian church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto, Lisbon, the rebuilding of which was started by Manuel Caetano de Sousa.

Costa e Silva’s first major work was the opera house, the Teatro S Carlos (1792–3), Lisbon, which was built in six months for a group of wealthy citizens anxious to follow the latest fashions in Italian opera. The design was consciously Neo-classical: the three-bay arcaded ...


Díez Navarro, Luis  

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b Málaga, c. 1700; d Guatemala, c. 1780).

Spanish military engineer, active in Mexico and Guatemala. In 1731–2 he arrived in New Spain with a royal commission. By 1733 he was director of works for the new Real Casa de la Moneda (Royal Mint; 1731–4) in Mexico City. He was involved with the fortifications (1731, 1733, 1738) at Veracruz and worked at the Sanctuary of the Villa de Guadalupe (1737–8), outside Mexico City. Díez Navarro also collaborated on the largest engineering project in New Spain, the draining of the Valle de México (1736–41). In 1740 he designed the church of S Brígida (destr.) in Mexico City, one of the only churches in Spanish America with an oval plan. In Mexico City in 1739 he became Maestro Mayor at the Palacio de los Virreyes and at the Reales Alcázares, as well as in the Cathedral. In 1741 he became Ingeniero Ordinario and shortly after was assigned to the Kingdom of Guatemala. One of his first tasks was to inspect the Caribbean coast, paying particular attention to its defences. He continued to be involved with coastal defences and made the first designs (...


Elmes, Harvey Lonsdale  

David Watkin

(b Oving, W. Sussex, 1814; d Jamaica, Nov 26, 1847).

English architect. Elmes was responsible for one of the finest Neo-classical public buildings in Europe, St George’s Hall and Assize Courts, Liverpool; a remarkably convincing re-creation of the grandeur of imperial Rome for someone who had never visited Italy or Greece. Elmes was a pupil of his father James Elmes (1782–1862) and of his uncle Henry John Elmes, a London builder. Author of the first documented life of Sir Christopher Wren (1823) and founder of a pioneering art journal, Annals of the Fine Arts (1816–20), James Elmes doubtless gave his son a firm grounding in architectural history as well as practice. In 1834 Harvey Elmes passed from the Royal Academy Schools, London, to the Bath office of H. E. Goodridge (1797–1864), with whom he remained for three years. At this time Goodridge was engaged on designs for the Roman Catholic procathedral in Bristol (building of which was never completed). The grandeur of Goodridge’s scheme of ...