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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

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

Margaret Moore Booker

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) constitute a public archival collection consisting of more than 556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites in the US dating from Pre-Columbian times to the 20th century. Maintained by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the HABS collection is one of the largest national surveys of its kind in the world. It serves as a vital resource for students of American architecture and is a crucial aid to historic preservationists. Its success reflects the importance and great need to document America’s surviving architectural and engineering masterpieces, particularly those that might be threatened with alteration, demolition or development.

In 1933, during the Great Depression, HABS was initiated by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as a short-term, federal relief project. Under the program—the brainchild of architect Charles E. Peterson—unemployed architects and draftsmen were hired to record systematically historic buildings through accurate, scale, measured drawings and photographs and written historic documentation. The program was (and continues to be) co-sponsored by the National Park Service (NPS), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the Library of Congress. Unlike most Depression-era federal assistance projects that disappeared once federal emergency funding ended, HABS survived and flourishes today....

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

Peter L. Laurence

(b Scranton, PA, May 4, 1916; d Toronto, April 25, 2006).

American journalist, author and activist. In 1934, at the age of 18, she moved to New York City to pursue a writing career. A life-long lover and student of cities, she soon settled in Greenwich Village and was struck by the vibrancy of the city, even in the Great Depression. Jazz-Age Manhattan, with its new Chrysler and Empire State Buildings and the Rockefeller Center, would leave an indelible impression on her, becoming her exemplar of urban life and city planning. Self-educated except for a few years at Columbia University, Jacobs not only was fascinated by the physical, social and economic dynamics of city life, but read widely in science, particularly natural history; from her earliest writings on the city, in the 1930s and 1940s, she observed the built environment like a naturalist, seeing the evolution of city form and function through a collective design process. Following this belief, Jacobs passionately rejected both Beaux-Arts and modernist conceptions of city planning and civic design as architecture writ large, and all other authorial attempts to design the city like a ...

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

Jill L. Grant

Architectural, urban design and planning movement that began in the USA in the 1980s; by the turn of the century it had become a highly influential alternative to conventional development practices in the USA and beyond.

In the early 1980s a design and planning movement took root in the USA that proponents described either as the “return of the small town” or as the “next form of the American metropolis.” Architect-planners like Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (see Arquitectonica) and Peter Calthorpe advocated and designed compact, mixed-use, walkable and clearly bounded communities as an antidote to ugly and inefficient sprawl. Although new urbanism designers initially favored traditional architectural styles that reflected local vernacular patterns, as the movement’s principles became more widely applied in urban redevelopment projects, building design styles diversified. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, new urbanism principles had influenced government development agendas in several countries and had become widely accepted as good planning principles....

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

Kate Wight

An international prize awarded annually for achievements in architecture. It is considered the world’s most celebrated architectural award and has sometimes been referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Architecture.”

Cindy and Jay Pritzker of Chicago founded the prize in 1979. The Pritzker Prize was sponsored and awarded by the Hyatt Foundation, an extension of the Pritzker family business, the Hyatt Corporation, best known for Hyatt Hotels.

The purpose of the Pritzker Prize is “to honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.” Rather than awarding an architect for a specific building or design, the award recognized an entire body of work by a particular architect.

The prize consists of an award of $100,000, a formal certificate, and a bronze medallion. Until ...

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

George Barnett Johnston

American indexed catalog of building components and manufacturers published annually since 1906. This multi-volume series, which organizes building product information, details, and specifications, is a standard reference for architecture, engineering, and construction industry professionals. It was launched as “Sweet’s” Indexed Catalogue of Building Construction in 1906 by Clinton W. Sweet, founder and editor of the journal Architectural Record, in response to an industry need for a more systematic and scientific approach to the organization of building product data.

During the 19th century local and craft-based building traditions in the United States were gradually displaced by the rise of industrial production and the establishment of integrated transportation and distribution networks. The concomitant formation of a national market in building products, combined with new printing and marketing techniques, yielded an onslaught of manufacturers’ advertising brochures and catalogs inundating architects’ offices. By the early 20th century, this widely recognized “catalog problem” overwhelmed architects’ libraries and stymied the increasingly complex task of selecting and specifying building products. ...

Article

Matico Josephson

American architectural firm formed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentices, the Taliesin Fellows, to complete Wright’s work after his death in 1959, and then to continue his legacy. Based primarily in Scottsdale, AZ, the office was first called Taliesin Associated Architects, and changed its name to Taliesin Architects in 1993.

At his death in 1959, Wright family §(1) had over 30 buildings in progress, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Beth Shalom Synagogue, Elkins Park, PA, which were under construction; many more were in the design phase, such as the Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael, CA, and the Gammage Memorial Auditorium, Tempe, AZ. Fellows who remained at Taliesin after the completion of these last projects formed a core around studio leader William Wesley Peters and Wright’s widow, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, who controlled the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Wright’s apprentices were often criticized for their lack of originality: While architects like Bruce Goff and Paul Rudolph were free to adapt and borrow from Wright, his immediate pupils were constrained by orthodoxy. In the words of Peter Blake, “It is fair to say that through the years the Taliesin Fellowship has produced no great architects… Wright’s Taliesin, being inextricably tied to a great individualist, produced only ‘yes’ men” (...