Dictionary of Art and Artists



History of

Architecture and Sculpture



















Part I. ARCHITECTURE - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Part II. ARCHITECTURE - 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20,
Part III. ARCHITECTURE - 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29



With the development of the "glass box" architecture entered the era of its technical reproducibility, and the role of the architect threatened - as Vincent Scully wrote - to become that of the packaging designer. The rejection of exterior glamour and fashionable flourishes produced an architecture concerned with the "honest" use of materials, with the clear delineation of functional areas and with gestural "expression". In particular Le Corbusier, who developed sculptural objects - his pilotis, for example - from elements with purely functional origins and then combined them in symbolic ways, intensified the search for expressive construction solutions which reacted individually to their respective functional assignments. For this work, Le Corbusier preferred coarse exposed concrete, rough from the mould, which he awarded the dignity of "a face covered with wrinkles".

Louis Kahn also built almost exclusively in concrete. According to his cryptically-esoteric theory of architecture, steel construction permitted no "real" walls and no "real" supports, since during building the actual supporting structures always disappeared behind the obligatory fireproof covering. He only sporadically concealed exposed concrete with brick. His plans, developed from the functional programme, were to reflect the difference between "servant" and "served" spaces,- their rhythm appears outside in the alternation of closed towers and open fenestration. In a clear allusion to Le Corbusier, Kahn spoke of the floor plan as a harmony of rooms - rather than volumes - in light, and he consequently sought to deny individual elements their independence. The design of his buildings reflected the duality of access route and workplace, public space and intimacy. That the principles so plausible on paper did not always function as planned in practice in no way reduces the quality of his institute and laboratory buildings.

The design of such low-detail, large-scale architecture demanded particular sensibility. Conflicts arose above all where egoistic architectural self-assertion irritated sensitive innercity nerves. Paul Rudolph's Art and Architecture Building for Yale University in New Haven thereby treads a thin line. Many more floors than at first suspected lie hidden behind a solid and, at the same time, irritatingly fragmented street front. The broad crossbar of the sixth storey is forced against the upward thrust of the windowless towers. The building's Cyclopean overtones apparently rub off on its users, nurturing aggression -there seems little other explanation for the vandalism which reduced the building to a desolate state. In the following years Rudolph placed such "urban construction accents" with much less subtlety: his parking garage in New Haven is nothing more than a brutal concrete container.

Concrete also proved the easiest solution to the structural, constructional and economic requirements of mass housing. Le Corbusier was given an opportunity to implement his concept of a "vertical housing city" in his "Unite d'Habitation" in Marseilles. This wide concrete complex - a huge "bottle-rack", as Le Corbusier called it - forms a frame into which apartments are slotted like drawers. These apartments extend the full depth of the building and include a second floor of half the depth. This made it possible to create a living area double the normal room height. Two rows of cleverly interlocked apartments border on a common central corridor, a dark, windowless passageway which passes through the building like a "road". Yardstick and generator of architectural proportions was the Modulor which Le Corbusier developed at this time, and which combined the Continental metric and English anthropomorphic measurement systems and ordered them in an ascending numerical sequence. The ultima ratio of room height thereby emerged as a humble 226 centimetres, or 7 feet 5 inches.

Two storeys of shops on the seventh and eighth floors were to be the centre of the internal road network and heart of the self-sufficient unit. But even assuming that all the families living here would also shop here, 340 parties were simply too few to keep in business a whole range of stores with attractive selections. The arcade soon became a wasteland with only one store remaining. Further mistakes can be seen in the design of its access areas which posed major obstacles to the practical transformation of the social premise underlying the complex. The indecisive territoriality of the neither private nor public corridor system, plus its darkness, made leaving the apartment seem an excursion into "enemy" territory and created insecurity and fear. There is simply no development of the sense of home which should ultimately accompany the communal ideal behind the "Unite". The architectural pose of this house on stilts primarily allowed an all-round view of the large parking lot: what passes under the house is not "landscape" but strong winds and the noise of car engines.

Lewis Mumford's verdict in the "New Yorker" magazine in 1957 was devastating: "With the 'Unite' Le Corbusier betrays human needs for the sake of a monumental aesthetic effect. The result is an egocentric extravagance, as imposing as an Egyptian pyramid meant to give a corpse immortality and, humanely speaking, just as bleak." Le Corbusier's experiment, repeated and modified in numerous subsequent variations, nonetheless influenced a whole generation of architects, and the impressive modelling of the facade relief, as well as the decisive identity of the main body of the building, indeed earned respect.

The structuring of large masses by means of plastically-developed individual elements was also the aim of Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. As already in his Peace Centre in Hiroshima, he sought to communicate classical Japanese architectural language using Western ideas. He thereby found his way to modular systems which - even in only partially realized forms, such as the Communications Centre in Kofu - permitted the flexible organization of spatial programmes. He met demands for more densely-populated development with a container architecture which related aspects of urban planning to the inner functional logic of the building. The image of the hive suggested by Le Corbusier's "Unite" was reflected in the cell structure of all these models.




One particularly thorny problem is how to develop an alternative to the conventional high-rise apartment block in densely populated areas: a housing pattern that will be less deadeningly unitorm (but no more expensive) and provide more light and air, safer access, and a multitude of other desirable features. A promising approach, by the Israeli architect Moshe Safdie (born
1938), was demonstrated in the Habitat complex at the Montreal EXPO 67 (fig. 1207). The individual apartments consist of prefabricated "boxes" that can be combined into units of several sizes and shapes, attached to a zigzagging concrete framework that can be extended to fit any site. Nevertheless, this lead, which proceeds from the work of Louis Kahn, has hardly been pursued by other architects.

1207. MOSHE SAFDIE and others. Habitat, EXPO 67, Montreal. 1967

Moshe Safdie. Habitat 67 in Montreal


Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA (born July 14, 1938) is an architect and urban designer. He was born in the city of Haifa, British Mandate for Palestine. He moved with his family to Montreal, Canada when he was 15 years old.

An excellent student, he studied architecture at McGill University and apprenticed under Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. At age 24, his master's thesis was selected to be constructed as part of the Expo 67 celebration. The Habitat 67 project, a complex of cellular residences that could be lifted into place like Lego blocks, propelled him onto the world stage. In 1967, he returned to Israel, where he was part of the team that refurnished Old Jerusalem. He now resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is a citizen of Canada, Israel, and the United States.

In 1978, he became Director of the Urban Design Program and the Ian Woodner Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His company, Moshe Safdie and Associates, Inc. is based out of Somerville, Massachusetts with branch offices in Toronto and Jerusalem.


Moshe Safdie. The Children's Monument at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem designed by architect Moshe Safdie



Kenzo Tange.


Tange Kenzo

Tange Kenzo, (born September 4, 1913, Ōsaka, Japan—died March 22, 2005, Tokyo), one of the foremost Japanese architects in the decades following World War II.

After graduating from Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) in 1938, Tange worked in the office of Maekawa Kunio, an architect who had studied with Le Corbusier. In 1942 Tange returned to the university to study city planning, and in 1949 he was named professor there; he became professor emeritus in 1974. His first completed structure was a pavilion at the Kōbe Industry and Trade Fair of 1950, and his first major commission involved the reconstruction of Hiroshima. In addition to planning the city, he helped design Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, and its peace centre (1950) and museum (1952) are among his best-known early works. In the years that followed, he designed an outstanding series of public buildings, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office (1957), the Shizuoka Convention Hall (1957), city halls at Kurayoshi (1957) and Kurashiki (1960), and the Kagawa prefectural offices (1958), the latter being considered a particularly fine example of the blending of modern and Japanese traditional architecture. Most of these early structures were conventional rectangular forms using light steel frames.

Tange’s work during the 1960s took more boldly dramatic forms with the use of reinforced concrete and innovative engineering. For the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he designed the National Gymnasiums; the two structures featured sweeping curved roofs and an asymmetrical but balanced design that masterfully assimilated traditional techniques. During the same period, Tange also designed St. Mary’s Cathedral in Tokyo, a bold cruciform design with stark, soaring roofs made of stainless steel.

Tange fulfilled many important overseas commissions during the 1960s and ’70s, including embassies and university buildings in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Iran. During 1966–70 he designed the master plan for the Japan World Exposition (Expo 70), which was held in Ōsaka. In his later structures he built up combinations of smaller geometric forms into an irregular but functionally attentive whole. Tange continued to design buildings into the early 21st century, and notable later works included the Overseas Union Bank (1986) in Singapore, the Singapore National Library (1998), and the Tokyo Dome Hotel (2000). In 1987 he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Tange was also influential as a writer, teacher, and town planner. Some of his best-known publications translated into English were A Plan for Tokyo (1960), Katsura: Tradition and Creation in Japanese Architecture (1960), Ise: Prototype of Japanese Architecture (1962), and Architecture and Urban Design (1975).

Encyclopædia Britannica


Kenzo Tange. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, at Naka-ku Hiroshima Japan, 1955

Kenzo Tange.
The East office of Kagawa Prefecture, Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan, 1956-1958

Kenzo Tange.
The East office of Kagawa Prefecture, Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan, 1956-1958

Kenzo Tange. Yamanashi Press & Broadcasting Centre in Kofu, Japan, 1964-1967

Kenzo Tange. Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Tokyo, 1964



Paul Rudolph.

Paul Rudolph.
Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York, 1963


Paul Rudolph

Paul Rudolph, in full Paul Marvin Rudolph (born October 23, 1918, Elkton, Kentucky, U.S.—died August 8, 1997, New York, New York), one of the most prominent Modernist architects in the United States after World War II. His buildings are notable for creative and unpredictable designs that appeal strongly to the senses.

Rudolph received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1940 and received a master’s degree at Harvard University, where he studied under Walter Gropius. During World War II he served (1943–46) with the U.S. Navy as a supervisor of ship construction at the Brooklyn Naval Yard.

In the late 1940s and early ’50s Rudolph practiced architecture in Sarasota, Florida, first as a designer of private residences for the firm of Twitchell and Rudolph and later working independently. His early designs used the glass walls and austere geometry of the International Style but attracted attention by their ingenious construction and attractive lines. Rudolph came to believe that a building’s form should develop from and be integrated with its interior uses and structure, and this led him to break up a building’s masses into distinctly articulated units that are interesting from both the outside and the inside. His early orchestrations of different units were regular and rather symmetrical, as in the Mary Cooper Jewett Arts Center for Wellesley College (1955–58).

From 1958 to 1965 Rudolph was chairman of the department of architecture at Yale University. His School of Art and Architecture at Yale University (1958–63), with its complex massing of interlocking forms and its variety of surface textures, is typical of the increasing freedom, imagination, and virtuosity of his mature building approach. Considered one of the most defining designs of his career, the 10-story building featured an interior that appeared seamless, flowing, and shot with light. (In 1969 the building was set on fire by student protestors.) Rudolph’s Boston Government Service Center (1963) and the Endo Laboratories in Garden City, New York (1962–64), continued a trend toward complex, irregularly silhouetted, and dynamic structures that contain dissimilar but harmoniously combined masses, shapes, and surfaces.

In 1965 Rudolph left Yale to practice in New York City. His practice grew in size and volume and embraced master plans for urban communities as well as designs for campuses and educational buildings, office buildings, and residential projects. Other important works by Rudolph include the IBM Complex at East Fishkill, New York (1962; with Walter Kiddle), and the Burroughs Wellcome Corporate Headquarters, Research Triangle Park, at Durham, North Carolina (1969).

By the late 1960s, Rudolph’s reputation had begun to decline in the United States, as his abstract Modernistic aesthetic began to be eclipsed by the growing popularity of Postmodernism’s revival of historical styles and ornamentation. He continued, however, to find an audience for his designs in Asia. Working from his historic brownstone on Beekman Place in New York City, famous in design circles for the architect’s controversial Modernistic renovation in the 1960s, Rudolph drafted monolithic high-rise projects for such cities as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Paul Rudolph.
Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York, 1963

Paul Rudolph.
The Lippo Centre, landmark building in Hong Kong, 1987


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