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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 (...


John Harris

(b Göteborg, Sweden, Feb 23, 1723; d London, March 8, 1796).

English architect and writer, of Scottish descent.

The son of a Scottish merchant trading in Sweden, Chambers was educated in Ripon, Yorkshire, and returned to Sweden at the age of 16 to train as a merchant in that country’s East India Company. Between 1740 and 1749 he made three voyages to the East, passing away the tedium of the journeys by studying ‘modern languages, mathematics and the fine arts, but chiefly civil architecture’. This background placed Chambers in a unique situation as far as his future career in England was concerned. By inclination he was a continental, and in 1749 he went to Paris, as any Swedish architect would have done, and sought instruction in architecture. He entered Jacques-François Blondel’s influential Ecole des Arts, a progressive educational body that trained the finest Parisian architects of the first generation of Neo-classicists. Late in 1750 Chambers moved on to Rome, where he set himself up as a privately funded student. There he seems to have maintained contacts with the Académie de France, and for a while he lived in the same studio as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who befriended those artists whose work was in the vanguard of Neo-classicism. Nevertheless, Chambers was too astute to ignore the visiting coteries of English travellers and ...


Christian Devillers

(b Paris, Sept 6, 1928).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was the son of Alexandre Chemetov, a Russian émigré painter. He studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where his teachers included André Lurçat. From 1961 to 1986 he was a member of the multi-disciplinary cooperative Atelier d’Urbanisme et d’Architecture (see AUA). Chemetov’s work can be divided into three periods. In the 1960s, working in association with Jean Deroche (b 1931) in AUA, his buildings included some low-rise housing (1962–5) at Vigneux, where he subsequently completed several other community projects: an open-air theatre (1964) in the cultural centre at Hammamet, Tunisia; a senior citizens’ centre (1964–6) at La Courneuve; the Sterckeman House (1964–72), Attiches; a block of flats (1965–7) in the 5e arrondissement of Paris; the Schalit House (1965–7), Clamart; swimming pools at Villejuif (1969) and Epinay (...


[Iakov; Jacob] (Georgievich)

(b Pavlograd, Dec 17, 1889; d Moscow, May 9, 1951).

Ukrainian architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He came from a poor family and supported himself financially at the College of Art, Odessa, from 1907 to 1914, before entering the Academy of Arts, Petrograd (later Leningrad, now St Petersburg), completing the Advanced Pedagogical courses in 1917. After the October Revolution (1917) he served in the Red Army, as a draughtsman and art instructor, until 1926 and completed his architectural studies (1922–5) at the Academy of Arts. In 1926 he became an instructor at the Institute of Railway Engineering, Leningrad, and professor from 1932. Chernikhov designed a residential complex in Petrozavodsk, and his work in Leningrad included the Central Military Research Laboratory and shops in the Lesnoy district (all late 1920s–early 1930s). Between 1927 and 1933 he wrote books on architecture, geometry and graphic design and c. 1928 founded the Research and Experimental Laboratory of Architectural Forms and Methods of Graphic Representation (Rus. Nauchno-issledovatel’skaya laboratoriya arkhitekturnykh form i metodov graficheskikh iskusstv) in Leningrad where he developed his ideas by teaching and preparing books for publication with help from his best students. The ‘Laboratory’ was transferred to Moscow when Chernikhov moved there. He did not associate himself with either the Rationalists or the Constructivists. His visions of densely settled urban environments have more in common with those of Le Corbusier, Antonio Sant’Elia and Mario Chiattone, although Chernikhov differed from these in stressing the pre-eminence of facilities for industrial production. He summarized his ideas in ...


Valérie-Noëlle Jouffre

(b July 11, 1698; d Paris, Dec 4, 1772).

French architect and draughtsman. In 1722, Chevotet won the first prize of the Académie Royale d’Architecture with a design for a triumphal arch. Early in his career he illustrated several architectural treatises, including Jean-Baptiste de Monicart’s Versailles immortalisé (1720–25) and Jean Mariette’s L’Architecture française (1727). He must then have attracted a loyal, wealthy clientèle, which allowed him to gain assurance as an architect and a solid reputation; in 1753 he became a member of the première classe of the Académie on the death of Germain Boffrand. Unfortunately, few of his buildings survive. In 1748 and 1753 Chevotet submitted four designs for the proposed Place Louis XV, but these were unsuccessful, as were his later proposals (1764) for the enlargement of the Palais Bourbon. His success lay in the renovation of older hôtels that he adapted to the 18th-century preference for small private apartments over the large suites ...


(b Vitry-le-François, Marne, Feb 7, 1841; d Paris, Sept 18, 1909).

French engineer, architectural historian and writer. The son of a provincial architect, he studied in Paris, first at the Ecole Polytechnique (1861–3) and then at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées (from 1863). In 1866 he went to Rome and then Athens, where his observations concentrated on the building techniques rather than on the stylistic details of Antique architecture. This bore fruit in his first great work, L’Art de bâtir chez les romains (Paris, 1873), a revelation in terms of its analysis of structure (following the example of Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s treatment of Gothic), the use of materials and the organization of labour forces. He adopted a similar approach in his accounts of the architecture of the Byzantine empire (Paris, 1883) and ancient Egypt (Paris, 1904). In addition to writing, Choisy held a number of teaching posts at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées (from ...


(b Falun, July 30, 1856; d Rättvik, July 18, 1930).

Swedish architect, draughtsman and writer. He studied at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola and the Kungliga Akademi för de fria Konsterna in Stockholm (1877–81). On his Grand Tour to France, Italy and Spain (1883–6), he devoted special interest to the châteaux of the Loire Valley and to the materials, colours and ornamentation in Spanish and Italian Medieval and Early Renaissance architecture. His travel sketches show his skills as a draughtsman and watercolourist, which are also reflected in his professional drawings. His reading of Viollet-le-Duc’s writings was influential on his concept of architecture, as were impulses from Britain and the Arts and Crafts Movement, although to a lesser extent. One of Clason’s major works is the Nordiska Museum (1889–1906) in Stockholm. The main room is a tall transverse hall, surrounded by two gallery stories, almost in the full length of the building and centred on an apsidal extension. This hall is toplit from a series of circular lanterns, and rib vaulting and composite piers give it an almost cathedral-like, austere atmosphere. On the exterior Clason developed Northern Renaissance elements, executed in colourful sandstone, combined with slate roofs and copper spires. The project required the establishment of an office, in which several young architects, including ...


Alfred Willis

(b Kampen, March 28, 1811; d Brussels, Feb 16, 1880).

Belgian architect. Born into an artistic family, he studied architecture at the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and later worked in the office of Tieleman-Frans Suys, whose Italianate classicism he favoured. Cluysenaar’s approach to classical design was seldom orthodox, however, and his taste began to grow eclectic. His first major work was the Galeries St-Hubert (1837–47), Brussels, a monumental shopping arcade with a high, glazed barrel vault overhead. A bend in its long axis, necessitated by the irregular configuration of the site, was cleverly articulated at the intersection of the Rue des Bouchers. Cluysenaar treated the three-storey lateral façades inside this gallery somewhat in the manner of a Renaissance palazzo and the end walls more freely as a mannered, abstract composition of classical elements.

With the construction of the Galeries St-Hubert, Cluysenaar began to rise rapidly in the social, financial and even diplomatic circles of Belgium, where his position afforded countless opportunities for meeting potential clients, and he became one of the leading Romantic architects of the mid-19th century in Belgium. Among his other important works in Brussels were the Théâtre de l’Alhambra (...


Anthony D. King

Like capitalism, industrialization, and slavery (with all of which it is connected), colonialism is one of the most significant and powerful historical forces that has shaped and continues to shape the cultures of the contemporary world. In architecture and the visual arts, stylistic categories such as Orientalism, Chinoiserie, or Modernism have been constructed through the prisms of colonialism. Concepts of the ‘primitive’, the ‘traditional’, or the ‘vernacular’ have been invented, defined, and legitimized through colonialist assumptions. In addition, social practices such as collecting have been facilitated and institutionalized through colonial ventures (Jasanoff, 2009). These trends have also produced a string of counter-movements deeply critical of colonialism in architecture and the fine arts that continue through the present day.

Colonialism describes a dominant–dependent relationship in which the territory and resources of one people are taken over and exploited, usually by violent means, by the people of another territory, generally of a different culture and ethnicity. It can be described as the unequal distribution of social, political, and physical power. Any definition of colonialism immediately poses the question as to whether it represents the position of the colonizer or the colonized. The definitions of Balandier (...


Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy

(b Dijon, March 2, 1733; d Paris, March 2, 1803).

French painter, architect and writer. He was apprenticed to his father, Jean-Baptiste Gilles, called Colson (1686–1762), who copied the work of the portrait painters Charles Parrocel and Jean-Baptiste van Loo and also painted miniatures, mainly for a provincial clientele. Jean-François got to know many studios, and worked for the portrait painters Daniel Sarrabat and Donat Nonnotte, among others. One of his liveliest early works is the informal, intimate and meditative portrait of The Artist’s Father in his Studio (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). Through the acting career of his brother Jean-Claude, Jean-François also came into contact with the theatrical world, as in his portrait of the actress Mme Véron de Forbonnais (1760; Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). The manner of this painting—with its subject looking up as if disturbed from reading a letter—is attuned to contemporary developments in portraiture. Later theatrical work includes Mlle Lange in the Role of Silvie (...


Joseph R. Kopta

(b Neenah, WI, June 28, 1894; d Bedford, MA, March 4, 1984).

American architectural historian. Conant was the leading 20th-century American architectural historian specializing in Romanesque architecture, and was the primary archaeologist of the monastic complex at Cluny. He earned his degrees from Harvard, including a BA in Fine Arts in 1915, an MArch. in 1919, and a PhD with a dissertation on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, supervised by Arthur Kingsley Porter, in 1926. He trained in archaeological practices in 1926 at the excavations of Chichén Itzá and Pueblo Bonito before directing excavations in earnest at Cluny starting in 1928. He was Professor of Architecture Emeritus at Harvard University, retiring from teaching in 1954.

An active member of the Medieval Academy of America (which funded his excavations after initial funding from the Guggenheim Foundation), Conant published frequent field reports documenting the excavations of Cluny as articles in Speculum. Additionally, Conant published a monograph on the sum of the excavations in ...


Hiroyuki Suzuki

(b London, Sept 28, 1852; d Tokyo, 1920).

English architect, active in Japan. He was articled to Roger Thomas Smith and then entered the office of William Burges. In 1876 he was awarded the Soane Medallion by the RIBA. In the next year he was appointed the first professor of architecture at the Imperial College of Engineering (now Tokyo University) in Japan, in which role he taught every aspect of architecture and building construction. During this period he was also active as an architect, designing such buildings as the Tokyo Imperial Museum (1877–80; now Tokyo National Museum) and a national banqueting house, Rokumeikan (Deer Cry Pavilion), for the Ministry of Public Works. After leaving his academic and governmental posts, Conder went into private practice and designed many residences, including the Iwasaki residence in Kayacho (1896; see Japan, §III, 5), the Shimazu residence (1915) and the Furukawa residence (1917). His style gradually changed from Gothic to more classical. He is often called the father of Western architecture in Japan, not only on account of his designs but also because of his role in establishing the Western method of architectural higher ...


(b Vicenza, ?Sept 18, 1730; d Vicenza, Oct 26, 1803).

Italian architect and writer. He was a pupil of Domenico Cerato, developing an extremely conservative trend of Neo-classicism based on Palladio but assimilating contemporary ideas of prismatic form and functional planning; he was heavily influenced by the contemporary publication of Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi’s Le fabbriche e i disegni di Andrea Palladio raccolti e illustrati (1776–83). Bertotti Scamozzi regarded him as having ‘appropriated’ rather then ‘imitated’ Palladio; Antoine Quatremère de Quincy called him a ‘rejuvenated Palladio’. He was a prolific architect, building numerous palazzi, villas and churches in the Veneto, and was elected a member of the Institut de France.

Calderari’s unexecuted design (1756) for the façade of the church of Padri Scalzi, Vicenza, exemplifies his manner. The composition followed closely that by Palladio for S Giorgio Maggiore (begun 1566), Venice, but the flat planes and the decoration of the frieze were resolutely Neo-classical. The chapels of the Casa Monza (...


Royston Landau

(Frederic Chester)

(b Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Oct 22, 1936).

English architect, teacher and critic. He studied architecture at the Bournemouth College of Art (1953–8) and at the Architectural Association, London (1958–60), where his teachers included James Gowan, John Killick and Peter Smithson. While working in the office of James Cubitt and Partners (1960–62) he met David Greene (b 1937), and, beginning in 1960, they produced the first of nine issues of the magazine Archigram. An Archigram group was formed with other recently graduated young architects, including Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, Ron Herron and Mike Webb, who came together after Cook had joined the Taylor Woodrow Design Office in 1962. Archigram magazine was the group’s most important outlet, but a wider audience was also sought through exhibitions, for example the Living City exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London (June 1963); through such events as the International Dialogue of Experimental Architecture, Folkestone (...


(b San Francisco, Jan 8, 1873; d New York, April 21, 1954).

American architect, teacher and writer. He studied engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1895, and then went to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1896), where he entered the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal and received his diploma in 1900. In 1901 he joined the New York office of Cass Gilbert as a draughtsman, later going into partnership (1903–12) with F. Livingston Pell and, until 1922, with Frank J. Helmle. His earliest major commissions were won in competitions, including those for the Maryland Institute (1908–13) in Baltimore, a variation on a Florentine palazzo, and the classical Municipal Group building (1916–17) in Springfield, MA. From 1907 to the mid-1930s he lectured at the Columbia School of Architecture, which followed the Beaux-Arts educational system. The vertically expressive Bush Terminal Tower (1920–24) on 42nd Street, New York, with its prominent position and slight setbacks in buff, white and black brick, marked his début as an influential skyscraper designer and he maintained his leading position through the 1920s and 1930s. Both in his work and writing for the media, Corbett explored the creative potential of the ‘setback’ restrictions of the New York zoning laws of ...


Françoise Hamon

(fl 1706–12).

French architectural theorist. His father was probably Gerauld de Cordemoy (1626–84), philosopher and historian; Cordemoy himself was the prior of St-Nicolas at La-Ferté-sous-Jouarre (Seine-et-Marne), and he was also a canon at St-Jean-des-Vignes, Soissons (Aisne). He was one of the first churchmen to research into the architectural theory of religious buildings: in 1706 he published his Nouveau Traité de toute l’architecture. Book three is devoted to religious architecture, and Cordemoy’s views provoked him into a long, drawn-out controversy with the engineer A.-F. Frézier, a specialist in stereotomy. This debate, which was aired between 1709 and 1712 in the Jesuit monthly journal Mémoires de Trévoux, was an episode in the Ancients and Moderns, Quarrel of the in an architectural context. Cordemoy took up the theories expounded by Claude Perrault in the latter’s edition of Vitruvius (1673) and his projects of c. 1680 for Ste-Geneviève in Paris. Rather than the central plan, Cordemoy preferred the classical basilica, the original model of the Christian place of worship, with its ciborium above the altar and semicircular apse, the seat of episcopal power. He pronounced against the altars of the side chapels of Jacopo Vignola’s church of Il Gesù in Rome (...



(b Venice, 1484; d Padua, May 8, 1566).

Italian architectural theorist, patron, humanist and architect. Inheriting his uncle’s estate in Padua, he combined the activities of a landowner with interests in literature, drama and architecture and became an important figure in the city’s humanist circle, which included Giovanni Maria Falconetto, Andrea Palladio, Giangiorgio Trissino and Barbaro family §(1). He encouraged Falconetto, previously a painter, into architecture, visiting Rome with him in 1522 and commissioning him to design his first works of architecture: two garden structures at his palazzo (now Palazzo Giustiniani) in the Via del Santo, Padua, a loggia for theatrical performances (1524) and the Odeon for musical performances (1530–33), both extant. The buildings derived from ancient Roman prototypes and followed their detailing closely; they formed a ‘forum’ in the courtyard. Although Cornaro may have helped in the design, it is more probable that his humanist interests influenced Falconetto. However, when Cornaro commissioned Falconetto to design the Villa dei Vescovi (now Villa Olcese, ...


Sylvia Ficher

(b Toulon, Feb 27, 1902; d Rio de Janeiro, July 13, 1998).

Brazilian architect, urban planner, architectural historian, teacher and writer of French birth. Son of Brazilian parents, he moved to Brazil in 1917 and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, graduating as an architect in 1923. From 1922 he worked with Fernando Valentim, adopting the style favoured by the Traditionalist movement, which took its inspiration from 18th-century Brazilian colonial architecture in an attempt to develop a national style. He designed several houses and won two important competitions, both with neo-colonial designs: the Brazilian Pavilion at the International Exhibition (1925) in Philadelphia, and the headquarters of the Argentine Embassy (1928), Rio de Janeiro (neither of which was built).

In December 1930, following the installation of the new revolutionary government in November, Costa was appointed to direct the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio and to reform its teaching system. At first his nomination was seen as a victory for the supporters of the neo-colonial style over the academics, but Costa broke with both and created a course, given by specially invited Modernist teachers including ...


E. A. Christensen

(b Laxfield, Suffolk, Oct 24, 1787; d London, Oct 13, 1847).

British architect, designer, writer and collector. He trained as a builder and from 1814 worked independently as an architect in London, his practice consisting mainly of church restorations. He published many books on design and architecture: his designs for ornamental metalwork appeared as Ornamental Metal Worker’s Director (1823), and his lithographs of Gothic mouldings, finials and other details, published as Working Drawings of Gothic Ornaments ([1824]), provided architects with models for Gothic capitals and carvings; his publications on architecture include Westminster Hall (1822) and Plans…of the Chapel of King Henry the Seventh (1822–9).

During the 1840s Cottingham designed a variety of pieces of Gothic furniture for his friend, John Harrison of Snelston Hall, Derbys, some of which incorporated fragments of authentic Gothic carving. His design (London, V&A) for a drawing-room cabinet for Snelston Hall, although not strictly archaeological, was based on existing examples of Gothic detailing. Cottingham’s discovery of a series of medieval tiles in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey stimulated a revival of encaustic tiles, subsequently produced by such firms as Minton; he designed such tiles for ...


Juanita M. Ellias

(b Paris, 1770; d Paris, March 26, 1849).

French architect and writer. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where in 1797 he won first prize in the competition for the Prix de Rome. One of his projects as a pensionnaire in Rome was a proposed restoration of the Temple of Vesta (published posthumously). His career after his return to France was lacklustre, but commissions included restorations of the Hôtel de Bouillon, Paris, the Hôtel d’Arenberg, Brussels, where he installed a new library, an abattoir at Ménilmontant and several country houses, including one for M. Pepin at Villette-aux-Aulnes. Coussin is best known for Du génie de l’architecture (1822), published to great contemporary acclaim but now forgotten. In a text that ranged in content from the primitive hut to the latest Paris sewers, Coussin appealed for a return to a basic approach to architecture, attacking speculators for their commercial approach to design and architects for pandering to them. He hoped to convince the public of the value of design based on theory, rather than as a mere fashionable appliqué for standard building types. In high-flown language he contrasted the speculators’ materialism with the true ‘genius’ of architecture, and found the mathematical basis for each style, constructing a system for their acceptable use based on ‘sentiment, genius and taste’. His analysis was similar to that of Julien-David Le Roy in the 1760s and his language was sympathetic to such ascendant elements of Romanticism as Eclecticism and the Néo-Grec....