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



15 July 1972 saw the memorable dynamiting of the Pruitt-lgoe Estate in St. Louis, Missouri. Its monotonous, eleven-storey slab skyscrapers, built twenty years earlier by Minoru Yamasaki, had been an award-winning model settlement by all the standards then held to be progressive. It represented the successful creation of inexpensive housing for many, surrounded by public parks and in disciplined rows of housing units. But in the long corridors between its anonymous apartment doors, chaos reigned. Vandalism and crime could no longer be controlled. Critic and architect Charles Jencks took the demolition of the block as the occasion to declare Modernism dead, only to be promptly contradicted. According to Jencks, James Stirling and Philip Johnson insisted "that they were still modern architects - and still alive". It was true that no funeral could as yet be announced for the "decline in authority of the Holy Trinity of function, material and construction", as Wolfgang Pehnt described it. Uninspired lumps of cement cast dubious light on the claims of functiona architecture, but for this reason many architects were by no means ready to be classified as Late or even Post-Modern.

Modern architecture had meanwhile been developed in very different directions, whereby narrative and commercial-strip tendencies came to the fore. But there was - and is - a tradition which carefully employed and cautiously expanded the vocabulary already established. Its representatives sought neither exaggerated effects nor defensive, half-hearted integration within the changing urban environment. Egon Eiermann was one such architect resisting the adoption of both sculpturally-fissured facades and conventional architecture in neo-romantic gesture. "Modern architecture", as he observed in 1964, "can be seen to be throwing itself at concrete with a wasteful, baroque intensity of form reminiscent of sculpture rather than architecture. As a lover of steel, I would like to say that, for me, the steel building represents the aristocratic principle of architecture. It has nothing in common with that mushy mass which, poured into moulds, can be bent and turned, hardens slowly and is only given its backbone by steel ..."

The attempt to make new buildings forcibly conform to historical cityscapes seemed to Eiermann a betrayal of Modernism, especially since official objections were often only directed at appearances. Buildings such as the Johns-Manville headquarters at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and the University of Lethbridge in Canada, sit like giant foreign bodies in the middle of nature, and yet the simultaneous clarity of their magnificent statements may - for all their apparent brutality - be interpreted as an expression of respect. The same may be said of the buildings of Cesar Pelli, of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates and others besides. Their sealed bodies are like the spaceships of science fiction epics which - confidently self-contained - appear to have landed on their powerful supporting structures only briefly, and might flyaway at any time. The attempt to unite all functional areas under the same skin leads to a loss of scale, since the uniform facade grid of the curtain wall and the size of the volume offer almost no points of orientation. Some architects now prefer to give their buildings a self-created scale by means of outsized constructional elements, as can be seen in the large buildings of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo. Others do away with all surface structure and make the building disappear under a reflective or opaque glass cover wrapped around the building like foil, as in the deep blue Pacific Design Center by Cesar Pelli.

Such buildings, grandiose and impressive, nevertheless have about them an indefinable quality which leads the observer to wonder what it is they remind him of. Distortions of scale and reflecting surfaces ultimately suggest very small objects which have grown to a gigantic size and have thus become building blocks from Gulliver's box of toys. In a college project, students were asked
what associations Cesar Pelli's Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles provoked in them. Amongst the numerous and very varied replies, the image of a decorative strip of moulding stood out in particular.

As mentioned above, the common characteristics of such architecture included the desire to house all functional areas in a single building, the emphasis upon its technical skin and the rejection of narrow-minded conformity to the surrounding urban or natural landscape. Many saw these as the sine qua non of Modernism, but it can be seen in the works of such as James Stirling that the rejection of the technically-smooth uniform body should not be equated with an abandonment of the classic vocabulary of Modernism. Stirling showed this in his Engineering Building for Leicester University: in the graduation and separation of the offices and workshops, the variety of activities performed inside are reflected and translated into formal objectivity. He extends the brick cladding into far-oversailing areas, whereby it is given the appearance of a purely "protective layer" and is thus placed in the same functional context as the other glass and metal facades.

Philip Johnson, who also returned to natural stone facades, said in a speech on the "Seven Shibboleths of Architecture": "We have spoken about material

progress and about the fact that we should employ the latest techniques and the latest materials - but are not granite and bronze still the most beautiful materials?" They were not cheap either, of course, but it was necessary to get away from the view that good architecture could be had for little money. No one could close their eyes to the fact that "great buildings are always very expensive".



Kevin Roche.


Kevin Roche

Kevin Roche (born June 14, 1922) is an award-winning 20th-century Irish-American architect known for his creative work with glass.

Born in Dublin, Roche spent his formative years in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork before he graduated from University College Dublin in 1945. He then worked with Michael Scott from 1945-1946. From summer to fall of 1946 he worked with Maxwell Fry in London and in 1947 returned to Michael Scott’s studio. He applied for graduate studies at Harvard, Yale, and Illinois Institute of Technology and was accepted at all three institutions, and left Ireland in 1948 to study under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1949 he worked at the planning office for the United Nations Headquarters building in New York City. He was recruited in 1950 by Eero Saarinen and joined the firm of Saarinen, Saarinen and Associates, which subsequently became Eero Saarinen and Associates. In 1954, he became the Principal Design Associate to Eero Saarinen and assisted him on all of the projects from that time until Eero Saarinen's death in September 1961. Roche completed 12 major unfinished Saarinen projects, including some of Saarinen's best-known work: the Gateway Arch, the expressionistic TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport in New York, Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, the strictly modern John Deere Headquarters in Moline, Illinois, and the CBS Headquarters building (also known as Black Rock) in New York City.

In 1966 Roche and John Dinkeloo changed the name of Eero Saarinen and Associates to Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates upon completion of Saarinen's projects. Together, their first major commission was the Oakland Museum of California, a complex for the art, natural history, and cultural history of California with a design featuring interrelated terraces and roof gardens.

Roche has master planned and designed diverse facilities noted for their advances in design concepts. His completed works include 8 museums, 38 corporate headquarters, 7 research facilities, performing arts centers, theaters, campus buildings for 6 universities, and the Central Park Zoo. In 1967 he created the master plan for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and since that date has designed all of the new wings and the installation of many collections.

Dinkeloo died in 1981. Roche continues the practice with two partners in Hamden, Connecticut.





Roche-Dinkeloo, otherwise known as Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates LLC (KRJDA), is an architectural firm based in Hamden, Connecticut founded in 1966.

The principal designer is 1982 Pritzker Prize laureate Kevin Roche, with John Dinkeloo — a graduate of the University of Michigan — as the expert in construction and technology. Roche and Dinkeloo both previously worked with Eero Saarinen. Almost all buildings built by Roche are with this firm, and they exhibit his particular architecture and aesthetic, although it has changed wildly throughout the past 40 years. Earlier buildings were characterized by massive façades and experimentation with exposed steel and concrete, while more recent buildings emphasize a clean, glassy look suggesting futuristic and green architecture. The firm also built in postmodern and historicist styles during the early 1990s.

The original partnership ended on Dinkeloo's death in 1981, however Roche maintained the firm's name with other principals.


Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.
Ford Foundation Building in New York, 1963-1968

Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.
New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Headquarters of the
Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Connecticut, 1965-1969


Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.
Bank of America Plaza



"With almost endless rows of arches and facades, with long straight lines, with enormous masses, simple colours, with almost ominous chiaroscuro, he succeeds ... in creating the impression of distance, loneliness, motionlessness and rigidity, brought forth by many a drama in the memory of our sleeping souls." These were the words with which, in 1914, Guillaume Apollinaire introduced the painter Giorgio de Chirico, in whose pictures the public square, filled with ghostly emptiness and the dream image of a disappearing train, shows the communal stage in an unaccountable light. The arcades casting their hard shadows evoke a metaphysical city within whose sets people are abandoned alone. Architecture appears as part of the "collective dream consciousness" (Walter Benjamin),- its significance arises from the invocation of eternally-valid symbols, which in their association form the city-arcade and square, gable and house, column and temple, arch and bridge, tree and grove.

Aldo Rossi starts from such interpretations of architecture. For him, the geometric elements, the non-reducible basic forms of cube, cylinder, pyramid and prism, have gained a "precise meaning" through history. The designer
- according to Rossi - combines the building blocks of the task in hand in accordance with the logical rules of order, as if from a building set of memories. The location for this event is the historical city,- this is the theatrical set within which people play merely walk-on parts. They appear, travel a short distance and then exit. Thus Rossi's memorials have no inscriptions, for it is not language but geometry which has durability. Similarities with theatre are apparent,- as a window onto another reality, it gives visual expression to metaphysical excursions. The stage is the public square, where the poetry of community life is concentrated. Rossi therefore seeks to create urban space,- he rejects the construction of autonomous solitaires such as those produced by Le Corbusier. In place of arbitrarily-justified design, which he sees as too bound by current rigid preconditions and superimposed ideologies, he turns to the art of architectural composition. It creates a new unity out of existing fragments and added symbols, "by alternately reducing or increasing formal possibilities". Its worth arises solely from the context and the choice of the symbols built. Rossi made this clear in citing his declared mentor Adolf Loos: "When we find a mound in the forest which is six feet long and three feet wide, built in a pyramid shape with a shovel, we grow serious, and something says to us: someone lies buried here. That is architecture." Works such as the Monument to the Resistance in Segrate and the design for the San Cataldo cemetery in Modena are prototypical for Rossi, even if only finally realized in curtailed form. The interplay of light and shadow on their raw stereometries becomes a catalyst for impressions which lead beyond the simple organization of the architectural elements. This aim is often more apparent in his drawings than in the finished buildings, which for him only represent the other side of the same reality on paper. Without the hard southern light, the buildings would lose much of their vitality. For this is "an architecture of shadows ... The shadows mark time and the passing of the seasons." But the shadows in the empty window recesses of the ossuary at the Modena cemetery also evoke the melancholy of de Chirico,- silence reigns where the dead are laid to rest.

In the Gallaratese 2 balcony-access complex in the Monte Amiata Estate in Milan, Rossi aligned the small apartments in rows and packed them into an unusually long cuboid on stilts, sliced - abruptly and sharply - only at one point, namely where the ground level changed. The radically-reduced facades - from whose formal asceticism he has meanwhile explicitly distanced himself - were endless, monotonous rows of concrete slabs and uniform, quadratic openings. With the tenants came clothes lines and improvised awnings, which brought life to the monolith. Rossi saw such interventions and modifications, however small, as significont further developments of the architecture, and not as disturbances to a single and binding final form.

Other architects followed Aldo Rossi along the path of formal reduction, among them Giorgio Grassi, who avoids fictional elements in his work with almost greater conviction than Rossi. Architecture - as he says - must represent nothing more than architecture, left behind as "collective trail marks for the future". Thus, in his Student's Residence in Chieti, tall colonnades of pilasters fall into rank before the three-storey room layers in a silent parade of unnerving coldness. The relinquishment of all individualistic design elements also characterizes the Stadtvilla which Grassi created for the Internationale Bauausstellung in the Rauchstrafie in Berlin. The villa offers a soothing, compensatory counter-poin to the overblown opulence of the buildings around it,- it does not seek to conceal the prespecified smallness of its apartments behind an excess of design, but admits in its very exterior the unambitious nature of the contractor's programme. Such honesty may seem out of date, but nevertheless appears far less synthetic than the decorative excesses to be seen around it.

The traditions of a rational, stereometrically clear architecture were successfully taken up in other southern countries besides Italy. In Spain, for example, Alberto Campo Baeza moved from white, cubic structural shapes with ramps and rails to more self-confident forms. His school buildings in Madrid successfully assert themselves within incoherent surroundings as self-contained, unimposing objects, serious and yet not without a certain sense of humour. In Mexico, old master Luis Barragdn deserves particular mention. His themes are wall and colour, structure and light. Raw-stuccoed, pigmented walls enclose courtyards and clear-cut spaces. Elementary forms and simple, lucid geometries characterize the composition, which draws upon the vernacular of traditional Mexican village architecture, pre-Columbian houses and churches from the Spanish
colonial era. Although building large-scale projects for a wealthy clientele, he retains a poetry of sparseness. This is probably most forceful in the motif of the empty courtyard, which lives from the contrast of luminous colours and the hard contours of light and shadow. It was - he believes - a mistake on the part of Modernism "to give up the protection of walls in favour of the transparency of glass ... Any architecture which does not express security fails in its spiritual mission." Barragan's architecture, like Aldo Rossi's, carries history. His figurations are, however, more vital and emotional.

Compared to the poetry of Barragan, the works of Swiss architect Mario Botta appear abstract products of the drawing-board. In Botta, too, reigns the archaism of the wall and the pure stereometric form. Large cut-away areas rob his massive, often prismatic and cylindrical facades of clear statics, however. Conventional windows are extensively avoided,- instead, rooms open to the exterior from behind punched rectangles, slits and circles via conciliatory intermediate zones. The geometry is dispersed, the continuum deliberately fractured. There is emphatic craftsmanship in the handling of materials. Dazzling effects of detail are achieved via the skilful rotation of stones in exposed masonry, changes in brickwork patterns, and gloss coatings. The formal force of large surfaces strengthens the block-like character which makes Botta's houses so autarkic and erratic,- he himself likes to call them "caverne magiche". For Botta, architecture must be "a counterpoint to Nature, a dialogue with Nature. Architecture is an artificial factor. The only means of paying tribute to Nature is to be in exact opposition to her, in confrontation ... Architecture is a violation of landscape; it cannot simply be integrated, it must create a new equilibrium." To the accusation of his critics - that his buildings dispense with all consideration and any conciliatory reference to their setting - Botta's reply is blunt and unrepentant: "I believe that it is wrong to submit to the existing surroundings. If values are there, include them. But I cannot relate to the stupidity all around."



Aldo Rossi, Gianni Braghieri.



Aldo Rossi

Aldo Rossi (May 3, 1931 – September 4, 1997) was an Italian architect and designer who accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in four distinct areas: theory, drawing, architecture and product design.

Rossi was born in Milan, Italy. In 1949 he started studying architecture at the Politecnico di Milano where he graduated in 1959. Already in 1955 he started writing for the Casabella magazine, where he became editor between 1959–1964.

His earliest works of the 1960s were mostly theoretical and displayed a simultaneous influence of 1920s Italian modernism, classicist influences of Viennese architect Adolf  Loos, and the reflections of the painter Giorgio De Chirico. A trip to the Soviet Union to study Stalinist architecture also left a marked impression.

In his writings Rossi criticized the lack of understanding of the city in current architectural practice. He argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time; of particular interest are urban artifacts that withstand the passage of time. Rossi held that the city remembers its past (our "collective memory"), and that we use that memory through monuments; that is, monuments give structure to the city.

He became extremely influential in the late 1970s and 1980s as his body of built work expanded and for his theories promoted in his books The Architecture of the City (L'architettura della città, 1966) and A Scientific Autobiography (Autobiografia scientifica, 1981).






Gianni Braghieri. (Italian, born 1945). Italian architect and designer.


Aldo Rossi with Gianni Braghieri.
School in Broni, Italy, 1979-1982

Aldo Rossi with Gianni Braghieri.
San Cataldo Cemetery in Modena, Italy, 1971-1984

Aldo Rossi.
Teatro del Mondo for the Venice Biennale, 1979-1980

Aldo Rossi.
Town Hall Square with Monument in Segrate, Italy, 1965.
Design drawing



Mario Botta.


Mario Botta

Mario Botta (born April 1, 1943) is a Swiss architect. He studied at the Liceo Artistico in Milan and the IUAV in Venice. His ideas were influenced by Le Corbusier, Carlo Scarpa, Louis Kahn. He opened his own practice in 1970 in Lugano.

Botta designed his first buildings at age 16, a two-family house at Morbio Superiore in Ticino. While the arrangements of spaces in this structure is inconsistent, its relationship to its site, separation of living from service spaces, and deep window recesses echo of what would become his stark, strong, towering style. His designs tend to include a strong sense of geometry, often being based on very simple shapes, yet creating unique volumes of space. His buildings are often made of brick, yet his use of material is wide, varied, and often unique.

His trademark style can be seen widely in Switzerland particularly the Ticino region and also in the Mediatheque in Villeurbanne (1988), a cathedral in Évry (1995), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA (1994). He also designed the Europa-Park Dome, which houses many major events at the Europa-Park theme park resort in Germany. Religious works by Botta, including the Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center were shown in London at the Royal Institute of British Architects in an exhibition entitled, Architetture del Sacro: Prayers in Stone. “A church is the place, par excellence, of architecture,” he said in an interview with architectural historian Judith Dupré. “When you enter a church, you already are part of what has transpired and will transpire there. The church is a house that puts a believer in a dimension where he or she is the protagonist. The sacred directly lives in the collective. Man becomes a participant in a church, even if he never says anything.”

In 1998, he designed the new bus station for Vimercate (near Milan), a red brick building linked to many facilities, underlining the city's recent development. He worked at La Scala's theatre renovation, which proved controversial as preservationists feared that historic details would be lost.

On January 1, 2006 he received the Grand Officer award from President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. In 2006 he designed his first ever spa, the Bergoase Spa in Arosa, Switzerland. The spa opens in December 2006 and cost an estimated CHF 35 million. Mario Botta participated in the Stock Exchange of Visions project in 2007. He will be a member of the Jury of the Global Holcim Awards in 2012.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Mario Botta. Harting Technologiegruppe headquarters in Minden

Mario Botta. "Casa Rotonda", Medici House in Atabio, Switzerland, 1980-1982
Axonometric projections of the floors

Mario Botta. Bianchi House in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, 1971-1973

Mario Botta. Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, at Shibuya-ku Tokyo Japan

Mario Botta. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco


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