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Article

(b Ashton-upon-Mersey, June 6, 1879; d Aston Tirrold, Oxon, March 23, 1957).

English urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated at Uppingham, Leics, and was an apprentice in architectural offices, first in Manchester and then in Liverpool. In 1907 Charles H. Reilly appointed him to the School of Architecture at the University of Liverpool, and in 1909, following the foundation of the School of Civic Design, the first urban planning school in Britain, he became deputy to its professor, S. D. Adshead. He helped found its publication, the Town Planning Review, and became a major contributor; he wrote a series of articles on American and European cities, giving a detailed account of his conception of history, architectural styles and the analysis of urban planning. In 1915 he became Professor of Civic Design and was nominated Librarian for the Town Planning Institute. He was active as an editor and conference organizer as well as a teacher and practising architect, involved in work stimulated by the Housing and Town Planning Act of ...

Article

Janis Callen Bell

(di Fabrizio)

(b ?Arezzo, 1579; d Florence, 1642).

Italian writer, painter and architect. He was descended from an illustrious Aretine family (his grandfather was Cardinal Benedetto Accolti (1497–1549), Archbishop of Ravenna and Secretary to Pope Clement VII). He was librarian and architect in the service of Cardinal Carlo Medici, and a member of the Florence Accademia and the Accademia di Disegno. He is known for Lo inganno degli occhi (1625), a three-part treatise (on plane figures, solids and shading) in which he showed how perspective practice derived from principles of visual perception. In this he examined classical and modern theories of vision, including those by Euclid (fl c. 300 bc), Witelo (c. 1230–80), Franciscus Aguilonius (1567–1617) and Guidobaldo del Monte, and criticized contemporary writers on perspective for underestimating the importance of light and shadow. He emphasized the need to distinguish parallel solar rays from diverging point sources of light, such as candlelight, and presented some original ideas on arranging compositions with multiple vanishing points and on foreshortening pictures within pictures. Chapters on anamorphosis and ...

Article

Michael Forsyth

Sound can be defined as audible vibrations within a relatively steady medium, and in buildings sound may be air-borne or structure-borne. The science of architectural acoustics is divisible into noise control and room acoustics. The following article is mainly concerned with the latter and the ‘desired’ sound generated within a space, because its design has had a significant impact on architectural form; it concentrates on examples of Western architecture.

For an extended discussion of acoustics see Grove 6.

Different acoustical conditions are preferable for listening to the spoken word as compared with different types of music. The shape, size and construction of halls and theatres—and to some extent other building types, including churches—developed historically in response to acoustical requirements. Room-acoustic design, however, is a relatively recent subject of study. Until the 20th century this relationship between acoustical requirements and the building form resulted from trial and error, involving the architect’s intuition and awareness of precedent rather than scientific knowledge. Acoustically inadequate halls were usually demolished within about 50 years, so that most surviving older halls are probably among the best that were built....

Article

Isabelle Gournay

(b Tours, 1875; d 1934).

French architect, urban planner and writer. He graduated in 1905 from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where he was a student in the atelier of Victor Laloux. In 1902 he came into contact with the Musée Social, a non-profit organization of bourgeois reformers, which sent him to visit the Louisiana Purchase International Exposition (1904) in St Louis, MO. Like a number of French architects of his generation such as Léon Jaussely and Marcel Auburtin (1872–1926), with whom he founded the Société Française des Architectes Urbanistes in 1913, he established a practice focused on urban design, achieving an international reputation in this field. Agache claimed to have coined the word ‘urbanisme’ and in 1914 he organized the first courses ever taught on the subject in France at the Collège Libre des Sciences Sociales et Economiques in Paris. His professional work included a prizewinning entry (1912; unexecuted) to the international competition for the design of Canberra, the new capital city of Australia, and master plans for Dunkerque (...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Buenos Aires, 1945).

American architect and theorist of Argentine birth. She received her Diploma of Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied further in Paris at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Centre du Recherche d’Urbanisme (1967–9). She moved to New York in 1971. From 1976 Agrest taught at Cooper Union, New York, and at Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities. In 1980 she went into partnership with her husband, Mario Gandelsonas (b 1938), in the firm A & G Development Consultants Inc., in New York. She also formed her own firm, Diana Agrest, Architect, in New York. Agrest was deeply involved in theoretical research, and was a Fellow at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, New York, from 1972 to 1984. She was strongly influenced by semiotics and developed the idea that architecture can refer beyond itself, discussed particularly in her essay on architecture and film (...

Article

[François]

(b Brussels, ?Jan 4, 1567; d Antwerp, March 20, 1617).

Flemish scientist and architect. His father was a Spaniard, Pedro de Aguilón; his mother, Anna Pels, was of Flemish origin. Aguilonius studied at the Jesuit Collège de Clermont in Paris and at Douai. He entered the novitiate of the Jesuits in Tournai. After a brief visit to Salamanca in 1596 he was ordained. He taught philosophy at Douai for five years, and in 1598 moved to Antwerp, where he became confessor to the Spaniards and Italians and a teacher at the city’s Jesuit college. In 1614 he was appointed rector of the college.

Aguilonius’s reputation rests on his book on optics, illustrated by Peter Paul Rubens, and on the part he played in building the Jesuit church in Antwerp (S Carlo Borromeo), which contributed to the popularity of Italian Baroque architecture with Flemish Jesuits. By December 1611 Aguilonius had written Opticorum libri sex, which was published by the Plantin press in ...

Article

(b Harplinge, Halland, June 10, 1891; d Stockholm, March 12, 1984).

Swedish architect and writer. He graduated from the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (1914) and from the Kungliga Akademien för de fria Konsterna in Stockholm (1918), before working in the office of Ivar Tengbom. From 1921 to 1924 Ahlberg was a writer for and editor of Byggmästaren, the Swedish journal of building and architecture. His architectural production encompassed the traditionalism and neo-classicism of the early 20th century, as well as the International Style, characterized by rational, pragmatic design. His Arts and Crafts Stand at the Göteborg Jubilee Exposition (1923), with its mannered, slender pavilions, was an early contribution to the neo-classical revival of the 1920s. The Freemasons’ Orphanage (1928–31) at Blackeberg outside Stockholm showed his development of this classicism into austere geometrical simplicity, while the buildings of the Trade Union High School (1928–50) at Brünnsvik, Dalecarlia, are based on the national timber-building tradition, with red panelling, white-framed windows and tiled, hipped roofs. The same combination of rational simplicity and romantic traditionalism occurs in Ahlberg’s ecclesiastical buildings, such as Mälarhöjden Chapel (...

Article

(b Hudiksvall, May 25, 1905; d 1997).

Swedish architect and writer. He graduated from the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola in Stockholm in 1927 and entered the office of Ivar Tengbom to work on office and commercial buildings. In 1931 he formed a partnership with Helge Zimdal, who had studied with him at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola. The partnership lasted until 1950. Their winning entry in the competition for Sveaplan Girls High School (1931), Stockholm, was a functionalistic design based on a rational plan that divides classrooms from special facilities by placing them in architecturally separate areas. A series of school buildings, including Skanstull High School (1943), Eriksdal Schools and Gubbängen Public School (1947), High School and Gymnasium (1954), all in Stockholm, develop this method of rational planning but with a less ostentatiously modern vocabulary of red or yellow brickwork. The Östergötlands Länsmuseum (1938) in Linköping with its carefully designed gallery lighting is of a similar type. Ahrbom was appointed professor at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola in ...

Article

(b Stockholm, Aug 6, 1897; d Arvika, Oct 8, 1977).

Swedish architect and writer. While a student at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola in Stockholm (1915–19), he participated in the Home Exhibition of the Swedish Society of Arts and Crafts at Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm. He worked in the office of Gunnar Asplund (1921–3), and his early works are in the then-prevalent Neo-classical style. However, he soon adopted the Modernism of Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau (1925) and the Weissenhofsiedlung at Stuttgart (1927), and he became a protagonist of rational and socially directed planning and architecture. His Students’ Union building at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola (1928; with Sven Markelius), the Flamman Cinema (1929) and the Ford Motor Co. warehouse (1930), all in Stockholm, represent this new aesthetic. Furniture and industrial design were also an important part of his work during the 1920s and 1930s. As a prolific writer for the press and professional journals, he was an effective propagandist of Modernism, contributing to the Stockholm Exhibition of ...

Article

Michael Spens

(b Tokyo, June 5, 1937).

Japanese architect, teacher and writer. He graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, in 1960 and obtained his MArch in 1966 and DEng in 1971. He began teaching architecture at Shibaura Institute of Technology in 1962, becoming a lecturer in engineering there in 1966 and subsequently assistant professor (1973) and professor (1976). In 1967 he opened his own office in Tokyo. A founding member of the counter-Metabolist group Architext (1971), Aida was one of the New Wave of avant-garde Japanese architects, expressing his theories in both buildings and writings. His journal articles clearly state his desire to question—if not overthrow—orthodox Modernist ideas of rationality, order and suitability of form to function. He likened architectural design to an intellectual game, and he was one of the first to equate deconstruction with the art of construction, for example in his Artist’s House (1967), Kunitachi, Tokyo, in which all the elements have arbitrary relationships with each other. In other buildings he focused on the creation of architectural experiences that reflect immediate events. In the Nirvana House (...

Article

Andrzej Rottermund

(b Puławy, June 1756; d Florence, Feb 8, 1841).

Polish architect and writer, also active in Italy. He probably studied in Rome in the late 1770s and returned to Italy in 1785–6 under the aegis of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, a collector and amateur architect with whom he collaborated throughout his life. In 1786 Aigner and Potocki refronted the church of St Anna, Warsaw, using a giant composite order on high pedestals. The political turmoil of the 1790s disrupted Aigner’s career, but during his second phase of creativity (1797–1816) he won fame through his work on the great estate of the Czartoryski family at Puławy, on the Vistula west of Lublin, the most important centre of cultural life in Poland during the Enlightenment. Aigner had already erected the Marynka Palace there in 1790, a variation on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France, and from 1798 he began to add ornamental buildings to go with the new Picturesque layout of the Puławy gardens: a Chinese pavilion, a Gothick house and a peripheral Temple of the Sibyl with a shallow dome. In ...

Article

Paul Davies and David Hemsoll

(b Genoa, Feb 14, 1404; d Rome, April 1472).

Italian architect, sculptor, painter, theorist and writer. The arts of painting, sculpture and architecture were, for Alberti, only three of an exceptionally broad range of interests, for he made his mark in fields as diverse as family ethics, philology and cryptography. It is for his contribution to the visual arts, however, that he is chiefly remembered. Alberti single-handedly established a theoretical foundation for the whole of Renaissance art with three revolutionary treatises, on painting, sculpture and architecture, which were the first works of their kind since Classical antiquity. Moreover, as a practitioner of the arts, he was no less innovative. In sculpture he seems to have been instrumental in popularizing, if not inventing, the portrait medal, but it was in architecture that he found his métier. Building on the achievements of his immediate predecessors, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, he reinterpreted anew the architecture of antiquity and introduced compositional formulae that have remained central to classical design ever since....

Article

Aurora Scotti Tosini

(b Perugia, 1512; d Perugia, Dec 30, 1572).

Italian architect and writer. He was the leading High Renaissance architect in both Genoa and Milan, his villas and town palazzi establishing a definitive pattern for the genre. His greatest sacred building was S Maria Assunta in Carignano, the central planning of which shows the influence of Donato Bramante and Michelangelo.

The Perugia of Alessi’s youth was an important centre of the Papal States, with a lively humanist and philosophical cultural life. Alessi received his early training in the school of the architect and painter Giovan Battista Caporali, whose edition of Vitruvius is notable for its tendency to rationalize the Antique and for its reference to music as a means of further perfecting the study of harmonic proportion in the visual arts. Alessi was also friendly with the architect Giulio Danti (1500–75), who was equally well versed in rhetoric and philosophy.

Alessi’s diverse cultural experience recommended him to the papal court in Rome, where he moved in ...

Article

Stephen Grabow

(b Vienna, Oct 4, 1936).

British architect, theorist and writer. He studied architecture and mathematics at Cambridge University, England (1956–9), and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1960–63). While at Harvard he was the joint author with Serge Chermayeff of Community and Privacy (1963), which was a discussion of urban courtyard house-plans by others of the time but which already contained the beginnings of a view of architecture as involving interactive processes rather than finished forms. In 1963 he took up his first faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley, later becoming professor of architecture there. In 1964 he published Notes on a Synthesis of Form, discussing the use of information theory in planning, with examples from his consulting work in India; in April and May 1965 he applied similar observations from mathematics to the current debate on lack of complexity in urban planning in the article ‘A City is not a Tree’. In ...

Article

(b Carpi, nr Modena, c. 1523; d Ferrara, 1573).

Italian architect and writer. He worked intermittently in Rome from 1549 to 1558, probably on the Palazzo Farnese under Michelangelo and on the city fortifications decreed by Pope Paul III. He was in Loreto in 1549, working on the basilica of S Maria, and in 1550, outside Macerata, began the church of S Maria delle Vergini, on which work continued for the rest of his life. The plan is a Greek cross, with a tall, octagonal drum over the crossing, in which are set large rectangular windows that transmit a bright but diffused light to the centre of the church. The interior is impressive in its refined simplicity, with almost all architectural elements reduced to their most essential forms. The great square nave piers, for example, are devoid of decoration other than their simple plinths and cornice-like capitals. The church is built throughout in brick, which is left exposed, with decorative inlaid panels, in the cross-vaulting to the right-hand eastern chapel. The façade (...

Article

V. S. Turchin

(Vladimirovich)

(b Moscow, Dec 10, 1902; d Moscow, May 9, 1986).

Russian art historian. He graduated from Moscow University in 1921. Much of his time was devoted to teaching, at the Higher State Artistic and Technical Institute (Vkhutein), the Theatre and Architecture institutes, Moscow University and the institute attached to the Academy of Arts. His main areas of interest were Old Russian art, the art of the Renaissance, and Russian art of the 18th and 19th centuries. He was particularly concerned with the links between the art of different regions, trying to combine iconographical method with a stylistic analysis. His premise was that ‘art is a metaphor for life’. In his descriptions of works of art he aimed to provide a written equivalent of visual images, using his skills as a poet and artist. He was internationally respected and his work was published in the journals Iskusstvo, Slavia, Commentari, Belvedere, Revue des études grecques, among others. He became known in 1924...

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, April 28, 1910; d Lisbon, Feb 19, 1975).

Portuguese architect, theorist and writer. He studied with Carlos Ramos in the early 1930s and his first significant work was a Modernist pavilion (1937; destr.) for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris (1937), a commission he won in competition against Raul Lino. Influenced by contemporary Dutch architecture and urban planning, he designed Lisbon’s airport (1943) at Portela and various works in the capital’s parks. The latter are intimate, modernist and successfully integrated projects, for example restaurants in the Campo Grande park (1948; destr.), in the Florestal de Monsanto park (1940; altered) and in the Eduardo VII park (altered). He also designed for the same parks a municipal swimming-pool (1965), a tennis club building (1952; with Hernâni Gandra and Alberto Pessoa) and the remodelled Estufa Fria (cold house for plants) respectively. A born teacher, researcher and polemicist, Amaral formed a school of theory and practice of architecture in which he fostered the idea of cultural and social awareness as a determining factor in design. In the years following World War II he was active in politics, adhering firmly to left-wing ideas. He was the main instigator of the survey of vernacular architecture in Portugal (...

Article

Helen M. Hills

(b Ciminna, Jan 24, 1634; d Palermo, July 3, 1714).

Italian architect, writer and painter. He trained as a priest in Palermo and entered the Padri Ministri degl’Infermi. Another member of this Order was Giacomo Amato, with whom he worked, although they were not related. While serving as a chaplain Amato studied geometry, architecture, optics and engraving. His earliest known artistic work is a painting on copper of the Miracle of S Rosalia (1663), the patron saint of Palermo. After 1686 he created many works of an ephemeral character. For the feasts of S Rosalia and for important political events he provided designs for lavish triumphal chariots, probably developed from those by Jacques Callot, triumphal arches and other ceremonial apparatus set up on principal roads and piazzas, and he painted hangings, papier-mâché models and massive altarpieces for the cathedral. These works influenced Amato’s permanent architecture. The spiral columns of the campanile of S Giuseppe dei Teatini, Palermo, recall the festival designs of ...

Article

José Miguel Rojas

(b San José, June 1, 1907; d 1998).

Costa Rican engraver, painter, illustrator, draughtsman, writer and critic. He studied for a year from 1931 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes but was otherwise initially self-taught, using Louis Gonse’s L’Art japonais (Paris, 1883) as a source. He produced a series of caricature drawings, influenced by Cubism, in the Album de dibujos de 1926. During 1929 he met the sculptors Juan Manuel Sánchez and Francisco Zúñiga (the latter was also a printmaker), and through his interest in German and Mexican Expressionist printmakers, he developed a passion for wood-engraving. His first wood-engravings were published in the periodical Repertorio Americano (1929). He went on to contribute wood-engravings and drawings to collections of short stories and poetry, educational books, periodicals and newspapers. In 1931 he taught drawing and wood-engraving at the Escuela Normal in Heredia. He exhibited at the Salones Anuales de Artes Plásticas in San José (1931–6...