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Article

Catherine Cooke

(Vasil’yevich)

(b Moscow, April 29, 1891; d June 2, 1944).

Russian architect, urban planner, theorist and teacher. He graduated from the College of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Moscow, in 1916, and took a further year’s course at the Academy of Arts in Petrograd (now St Petersburg). Returning to Moscow after the Revolution, he worked from 1918 to 1924 in the Mossoviet architectural studio, headed by Aleksey Shchusev, on the first plan for reconstructing Moscow as the Soviet capital. In the same period he began teaching at his former school, which was formed initially into the State Free Art Studios (Rus. Svomas) and, from 1920, the Vkhutemas. During 1921 he became involved in the formal and spatial researches of the six-man Working Group of Architects of Inkhuk (Rus.: Institute of artistic culture), Moscow. With two of his colleagues in the group, Nikolay Ladovsky and Vladimir Krinsky, who were fellow teachers, he devised curricula for the Vkhutemas, firstly that of the school’s General Studio, set up in opposition to historicists, and then of the Basic Course through which all new students of the institute passed....

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b Newburgh, NY, Oct 31, 1815; d Hudson River, NY, July 28, 1852).

American writer, horticulturist, landscape gardener and architect. From the age of seven he was trained in the family nursery garden by his elder brother Charles Downing (1802–85), an experimental horticulturist. Before he was 15, Downing came under the influence of André Parmentier (1780–1830), a Dutch-trained landscape gardener, and he studied the 700-acre estate that Parmentier had landscaped in the English manner at Hyde Park, NY. Downing was also influenced by the mineralogist Baron Alois von Lederer (1773–1842) and the landscape painter Raphael Hoyle (1804–38). In 1834 Downing’s first article, ‘Ornamental Trees’, appeared in journals in Boston, MA, and France. His article ‘The Fitness of Different Styles of Architecture for Country Residences’ (1836) was the first important discussion of the topic in America. He expressed enthusiasm for a variety of styles and insisted they must be used in appropriate settings. His ...

Article

Alexander Koutamanis

(b Stenimachos [now Asenovgrad, Bulgaria], May 14, 1913; d Athens, June 28, 1975).

Greek urban and regional planner, architect, theorist and administrator. At the outbreak of World War I he and his family arrived in Athens from Bulgaria as refugees. He studied architecture (1930–35) at the National Technical University of Athens and received a doctoral degree (1935) from the Universität Berlin–Charlottenburg, having presented a highly original and controversial thesis on planning in ancient Greece. He was Head of the Town Planning Office of the Greater Athens area (1937–9) and of the Department of Regional and Town Planning of the Ministry of Public Works (1939–45) during the German occupation of Greece. Simultaneously he was part of the Underground Resistance movement, preparing plans for the post-war reconstruction of Greece. After the war, as Under-Secretary and Director-General of the Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction (1945–8) and as Under-Secretary and Coordinator of the Recovery Programme of the Ministry of Coordination (...

Article

Valerie A. Clack

(b Thornton Heath, Surrey, March 24, 1911; d Cotherstone, Durham, July 27, 1996).

British architect, teacher and writer, wife of E(dwin) Maxwell Fry. She studied at the Architectural Association, London, in 1929–34 and as a student worked for Grey Wornum on the construction of the RIBA headquarters in London. After graduating, she set up a practice with James Alliston, her first husband, building some houses and other small-scale works. From 1940 to 1945 she practised independently, and in 1941–3 she was a consultant to the British Commercial Gas Corporation, undertaking specialist studies on the design of kitchens, which culminated in the Kitchen Planning Exhibition (London, 1945). In 1942 Drew married Fry, and in 1944–6 they both worked as planning advisers to the resident minister for the West African Colonies, subsequently publishing Village Housing in the Tropics (1947), which was largely Drew’s work. She also founded the Architects Yearbook (1946), acting as joint editor with Trevor Dannatt until 1962...

Article

Werner Szambien

(b 1769; d Paris, Sept 8, 1845).

French architect and writer. He was one of the few pupils of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. He was unsuccessful in the competition for the Prix de Rome in 1791, 1792 and 1794 but won in 1797 with a design for public granaries, which perfectly illustrated the contemporary tendency towards rationalism. While in Rome he designed an imperial library disguised as a restoration of the Temple de la Pudicité, drawings for which he exhibited at the Salons of 1802 and 1804. He was best known for his Architecture civile (1803), a collection of designs for simple houses of all sizes and a work that met the approval of Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand. This work was doubtless intended to assure its author a career in France, but his only known works under the Empire were the baths in Bourbonne (begun 1811) and the Préfecture in Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). After ...

Article

Werner Szambien

(b Paris, Sept 18, 1760; d Thiais, Dec 31, 1834).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under Pierre Panseron (fl 1736) and from 1776 in the office of Etienne-Louis Boullée. He also took courses with Julien-David Le Roy at the Académie d’Architecture and participated in competitions under the guidance of Jean-Rodolphe Perronet. He twice came second in the Prix de Rome: in 1779 for a museum and in 1780 for a school. During the 1780s he worked as a draughtsman for Boullée and for the engraver Jean-François Janinet. In 1788 construction began in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, Paris, of his Maison Lathuille, a building with Néo-Grec decoration but with a layout characterized by its extreme simplicity. About 1790 he executed a series of drawings entitled ...

Article

(b Huntingdon, Cambs, June 13, 1839; d Great Ormsby, Norfolk, June 23, 1927).

English architect and writer. He probably settled in London in 1859, the year he joined the Architectural Association (President, 1865–7) and, in 1860, the newly formed Artists’ Volunteer Rifle Club (Colonel, 1883–1902; knighted for war services, 1919). Although some London warehouses built by Edis in the 1860s and early 1870s (destr.) were designed in a Gothic Revival style, Edis was quick to adopt the Queen Anne Revival style (though not for his country houses). Boscombe Spa Hotel (1873; now the Chine Hotel), Bournemouth, was an early example; others include 94 Bond Street (1878); 10 Fleet Street (1885); 59–61 Brook Street (c. 1884); and 114 Mount Street (1892), all in London, all of red brick and terracotta and with Dutch gables. 70 Marine Parade (1879–80), Brighton, is an essay in the Old English style, while 101 Piccadilly (...

Article

Malcolm Quantrill

(b Newark, NJ, Aug 12, 1932).

American architect, theorist, writer and teacher. He graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (BArch 1955), and worked for Percival Goodman in New York (1957–8) and the Architects’ Collaborative in Cambridge, MA (1959). He then went to Columbia University, New York (March 1960), and the University of Cambridge, England, where he completed his PhD in the theory of design (1963) and also taught (1960–63). Back in the USA, he was involved in several unexecuted competition entries and projects (1963–5) with Michael Graves and began to teach (1963–7) at Princeton University, NJ, moving to Cooper Union, New York, in 1967. In that year he became the founding director of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, which became a major centre for exhibition and debate in the architectural profession; he also established and edited its influential journal ...

Article

Allan Doig

Term coined by Theo van Doesburg and applied to painting and architecture to describe the constructive use of line, plane, volume and colour not only as the primary means of art but as an end in itself. In his article, ‘L’Elémentarisme et son origine’, he stated that the movement had been born in Holland in 1924 via the De stijl group. He then listed Elementarist contributors to the arts: ‘Georges Antheil in music, César Domela, Vordemberge-Gildewart and the author of this article (the founder of the movement) in painting, Constantin Brancusi in sculpture, Mies van der Rohe, van Eesteren, Rietveld and the author in architecture, I. K. Bonset [one of van Doesburg’s pseudonyms] in literature, Friederich Kiesler in the rejuvenation of the theatre’. The term is intimately related to the notion of abstraction and has roots extending back as far as Plato’s Philebus. In its broader definition it can provide an insight into the development of abstraction. As early as ...

Article

Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...

Article

Erasmus  

Jürgen Zimmer

German family of cabinetmakers, designers and architectural theorists. Georg Caspar Erasmus (b Bopfingen; fl Nuremberg, 1663–95) was the municipal cabinetmaker in Nuremberg. The main part of the altar of St Stephen in the church of St Sebald, Nuremberg, donated by the Muffel family in 1663, is traditionally attributed to him, although it has also been described as being in the manner of George Schweigger. In 1666 Erasmus produced an architectural treatise, published in Nuremberg, entitled Seülen-Buch, oder gründlicher Bericht von den fünff Seülen, denen beygefügt fünff Termes; the 53 plates were engraved by Wilhelm Pfann (fl c. 1665–90). New editions that appeared in 1667, 1672 and 1688, and an undated enlarged edition, published in Nuremberg, indicate that the work attracted widespread interest. Erasmus produced a second volume containing 16 engravings in 1695, also published in Nuremberg, entitled Neues Zierathen Büchlein von allerhand Schreinwerk. His work was influenced by that of Rütger Kassmann, and the essentially symmetrical Baroque designs with Auricular shapes also relate to those published by the cabinetmaker Donath Horn (...

Article

Annamaria Szőke

(b Budapest, July 4, 1928; d Budapest, May 22, 1986).

Hungarian architect, sculptor, conceptual and performance artist, teacher, theorist and film maker. He came from a Jewish–Christian family, many of whom were killed during World War II. In 1947 he began training as a sculptor at the College of Fine Arts in Budapest, but he left and continued his studies in the studio of Dezső Birman Bokros (1889–1965), before training as an architect from 1947 to 1951 at the Technical University in Budapest. During the 1950s and early 1960s he worked as an architect and began experimenting with painting and graphic art, as well as writing poems and short stories. During this period he became acquainted with such artists as Dezső Korniss, László Latner and, most importantly, Béla Kondor and Sándor Altorjai (1933–79), with whom he began a lifelong friendship. In 1959 and 1963 he also enrolled at the Budapest College of Theatre and Film Arts but was advised to leave both times....

Article

(von)

(b Dresden, May 18, 1736; d Dessau, March 9, 1800).

German architect, designer and writer. He studied ancient and modern languages at Dresden and Leipzig and, from 1754 to 1757, mathematics, physics, chemistry, history and philology at Wittenberg. In 1757 he met the young Prince Francis of Anhalt-Dessau and, after journeys on his own to Italy, he travelled with the Prince to England and Scotland (1763) and to Italy and France (1765–6). In Rome he explored the ancient buildings, made contact with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and studied the fundamentals of architecture with Charles-Louis Clérisseau. After returning via Antibes, Paris, London and Edinburgh, the Prince decided to have a palace and garden built at Wörlitz in the style of an English Palladian mansion. Schloss Wörlitz (1769–73) was Erdmannsdorff’s first important work and probably his masterpiece. His models were Duddingston House (1763–8), Edinburgh, by William Chambers, and Lancelot (‘Capability’) Brown’s preliminary studies for Claremont House (...

Article

(b Nantes, c. 1606–9; d Rome, May 25, 1689).

French painter, draughtsman, architect and writer, active also in Italy. He first studied under Charles Errard le père (c. 1570–1630), a Mannerist portrait painter and engineer. From 1627 he was in Rome, working under the protection of François de Créqui, French Ambassador to the papal court. There he came into contact with an influential circle of scholars, artists and patrons, including Joachim von Sandrart, Paul Fréart, Sieur de Chantelou, secretary to the French Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi, François Sublet des Noyers and Giovanni Pietro Bellori. During this period he made copies after paintings by Titian and Annibale Carracci and drawings of Roman antiquities, while learning the idealized, classicizing style that was upheld in academic circles. In 1633 he became a member of the Accademia di S Luca.

In 1643 Errard returned to Paris as a Peintre Ordinaire du Roi and became one of the most fashionable painters in the capital. Over the next two decades he undertook a series of commissions for the crown and for wealthy bourgeois patrons. In ...

Article

(b Karlsruhe, Nov 2, 1831; d Nuremberg, Oct 13, 1892).

German architect and art historian. He was an important exponent of historicism. After studying architecture and art history up to 1851 (graduated 1855) at the Polytechnikum (now Technische Universität), Karlsruhe, he visited Berlin in 1852/3 and travelled in Europe, gaining knowledge that would later be valuable in his work on the conservation of monuments. His first post (1857) was as architect to the Austrian Staatseisenbahn-Gesellschaft. At about that time he designed churches, public buildings and houses, especially in Banat (Hungary; now Romania), and produced plans (1860–61) for the urban development of Franzdorf. In the early 1860s he also produced ornamentation in the Romanesque style for churches, including those at Leiden (Hungary), Berchtoldsdorf, near Vienna, S Antonio, Padua, and Trento Cathedral. In 1864 he became a city architect at Graz and in 1865 Professor of Architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Graz. His publications on architectural history and the conservation of monuments, as well as his practical and theoretical work on problems in the arts and crafts, led to his appointment (...

Article

(b Löcse, Hungary [now Levoča, Slovakia], Sept 3, 1839; d Oct 5, 1910).

Hungarian engineer and art historian. He trained as an engineer and became a senior manager in the Hungarian railways. Following a two-year study trip to Italy (1876–8), he resigned his post and embarked upon a new career as an art historian. He visited Paris and London and in 1880 settled in Stuttgart.

Fabriczy devoted the greater part of his life to the study of Italian, and in particular Florentine, Renaissance art. In 1892 he published a major study of the life and work of the Florentine architect and engineer Filippo Brunelleschi. At the same time, after research in the Biblioteca Nazionale of Florence, most notably on 16th-century documents (the Codice Strozziano and Codice Petrei) containing notes on Florentine artists of considerable art historical value, he published the so-called Libro di Antonio Billi (1891; see Billi, Antonio) and the Codice dell’Anonimo Magliabechiano (1893). Fabriczy’s research had been undertaken in consultation with the Florentine art historian ...

Article

N. A. Furness

(b Elbing, E. Prussia [now Elblag, Poland], Sept 14, 1880; d Berlin, Jan 9, 1958).

German writer. He studied architecture, natural science and the humanities, graduating as a DPhil at Erlangen in 1905, and then worked for newspapers in Dresden and Berlin. From 1918 to 1933 he was arts correspondent for the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. In 1908 he read Wilhelm Worringer’s Abstraktion und Einfühlung (Munich, 1908), and Worringer’s ideas and terminology underlie Fechter’s pioneering study of German Expressionism (1914) as well as his stimulating survey of the development of architecture in Die Tragödie der Architektur (1921). He remained in Germany after 1933, although quite out of sympathy with the Nazi regime: his books on Expressionism and on Ernst Barlach (1935) were included in the infamous exhibition of entartete Kunst in Munich in 1937. He also joined the Wednesday Club in Berlin, several members of which died after taking part in the attempt on Adolf Hitler’s life in July 1944...

Article

Tapati Guha-Thakurta

(b Ayr, Scotland, Jan 22, 1808; d London, Jan 9, 1886).

British art historian, active in India. His interest in the study of architecture was formed and developed in India, where he went at an early age to join a merchant firm with which his family had connections. He left this mercantile establishment to begin his own indigo factory in Bengal, and in the course of his career as an indigo merchant began a pioneering survey of Indian architecture. Travelling extensively across India between 1835 and 1842, armed with a draughtsman’s pad and a camera lucida, he acted as a ‘one-man architectural survey’ making drawings and taking notes and measurements. The labours of these years not only produced all his major writings on Indian architecture but also formulated his basic methods on the study of architecture in general.

Although firmly committed to European classical standards of artistic excellence, Fergusson, unlike most Western scholars of his time, did not impose these on Indian architecture. Rather, he applied to European and world architecture a set of analytical principles he had evolved through a direct, detailed study of Indian monuments. For instance, in all his studies, his reliance on pure architectural evidence for his conclusions grew out of his intimate survey of old Indian buildings. His strong criticism of all post-...

Article

Alicia Cámara Muñoz

(b Spain, Oct 24, 1646; d Brussels, Feb 18, 1705).

Spanish engineer and writer. He was an expert mathematician and in 1675 was appointed a master in the Military Academy, Brussels, of which he became director in 1692. He was a leading military engineer and the author of important theoretical works, mostly written after he became blind. His writings on military architecture demonstrate that engineering was becoming an increasingly exact science and moving away from the humanistic and aesthetic considerations of the 16th-century treatises on the subject. He represents the culmination of the process of specialization in engineering and his broad knowledge embraced geography, techniques of warfare, the training of new practitioners of the profession in academies and the formulation of new scientific possibilities.

Rudimentos geométricos y militares (Brussels, 1677) El práctico artillero (Brussels, 1680) Descripción del mundo o guía geográfica (Brussels, 1686) El ingeniero: Primera parte de la moderna architectura militar, 2 vols (Brussels, 1687) El ingeniero práctico (Brussels, 1690)...

Article

Carol Willis

(b St Louis, MO, July 12, 1889; d New York, Jan 29, 1962).

American architect, draughtsman and theorist. He graduated in architecture in 1911 from Washington University, St Louis, where the teaching was Beaux-Arts oriented. In 1912 he moved to New York where he worked as a draughtsman in the large office of Cass Gilbert until 1915, when he launched his career as a freelance delineator. Although his first jobs were mostly illustrations or advertisements for newspapers or magazines, by the early 1920s finished perspective renderings, particularly of skyscrapers and other commercial architecture, became his principal work. Working in carbon pencil, he perfected a rich and dramatic chiaroscuro technique that exaggerated the monumental qualities of structures, suppressing ornament and detail and reducing buildings to the profound power of their simple mass. This abstraction of building forms, which had great influence on subsequent architecture by others, began with a series of ‘zoning envelope’ studies, which Ferriss did in 1922 with Harvey Wiley Corbett; these illustrated how the maximum building volumes permitted by New York’s setback zoning laws of ...