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



A beautiful view of a virgin landscape, of unimproved or domesticated nature, or simply of naked concrete walls taken out of their shells: within a framework uninhibited by neighbourly considerations or bureaucratic regulations, the seemingly humble detached house can offer unexpected architectural challenges. Where all starting points for conformity and subordination are lacking, the alignment of a building requires new systems of reference. The decisive factors now become topography, wind direction and the position of the sun, together with the customer's preferences and, of course, expectations as regards spatial programme.

The confrontation with environment thereby often takes place at a very abstract, almost philosophical level. Japanese architect Tadao Ando bases his extremely ascetic forms on man's alienation from nature, which conventional gardens in his opinion only reinforce. He admits sun and cold, wind and rain as alone authentic. "Things like light and wind only have meaning when they are introduced into a house in the form of extracts from the outer world. The isolated fragments of light and air illustrate the whole of Nature." For this reason, his houses - often fully fortified against the outside world - open onto bare inner courtyards, oases of quiet, which relate to the rhythm of the passing days and seasons. Tadao Ando prefers - inside as well as out - exposed concrete, whose contours appear as cold, sharp incisions or soft undulations, depending on the position of the sun. While elementary nature is defined as a direct component of living, there is a graduated retreat from the street in firmly defined semi-public and public zones.

Demarcation within the indefinite is also a theme of American country houses: the house appears as a fortress within the landscape. Although access roads, coast lines, and other landmarks are incorporated, the actual location is purely coincidental. Tod Williams said of his house for William Tarlo in Eastern Long sland: "The site, like many in America, is one with little apparent context. The road is parallel to a distant ocean view. The fields are treeless but change with planting. The sun has its set of changing coordinates, and the winds change with the seasons. The architecture takes its cues from these simple realities ... At the center is the self-contained microcosm. It might be duplicated inside a loft in Soho,- and is precisely a house within a 'house'. Although in this case the container did not pre-exist. The road and ocean pre-exist; and a precedent of farm lend into urban fabric. Vehicular access ... the movement of sun and wind, and urban precedent generate the envelope or superenclosure. This in turn provides a formal field of reference, related to the external world, for the enclosure proper which then can interact indirectly with these elements."

What at first reads as a purely formal concept reveals itself upon closer inspection as a newly-defined functionalism. The logically-composed spatial programme is assigned exciting orientations via multiple axes. The relationship between external and internal references can thereby be turned to particular advantage. The presence of a breathtaking view may be a bonus, but the quality of the building rests on other factors.

John Lautner's houses need have no fear of scrutiny in this regard. What distinguishes them is the balance they achieve between a natural backdrop which in many cases surges powerfully towards the house, and a sensitive modelling of an interior offering protection and security, and indeed bordering almost on the cosy. A contributing factor is thereby his combination of colour, maintained in predominantly warm tones and achieved via the careful construction of different layers in the outer shell, of which a glass facade is just one option.

His Arango House of 1973 in Acapulco, built on a steep hillside above the Pacific Ocean, is designed to offer its inhabitants the greatest possible amount of fresh air, light and view. The curving, flowing forms are constructed of rein
forced concrete, as is the furniture in the open living area-cum-terrace, which is covered only by a projecting roof in the shape of the curved brim of a hat. Instead of a railing, the terrace is surrounded by water, establishing an unbroken visual transition between the foreground and the distant ocean. The bedrooms lie protected, almost hidden, beneath this living space.

While the Arango House represents an extreme example of architectural opening to the outside world, it is endorsed by the local climate. In the case of Shigeru Ban's Curtain Wall House in Tokyo, there is an ironic allusion behind the design decision to leave the facade unusually wide open, allowing it to divulge what is happening inside. It was the client's wish, in fact, to put the openness of his lifestyle so demonstratively on display. The two street facades can be fully opened,- if required, they can be closed off in summer by light curtains, and in winter by glass walls. The rooms themselves are separated only by a few walls.

The owners of a steeply sloping building plot with a partially obstructed view of the Seine and the city invited Rem Koolhaas to design a house which offered separate living spaces for them and their daughter. It was a challenge which Rem Koolhaas resolved with two pavilions linked by a swimming pool on the roof. The Villa dall'Ava's open living area is situated within an elongated, generously glazed body, on top of which lie - one at each end - two bedroom wings, which jut far out over the facade at 90 degrees to the ground floor. The rooms on the first floor are clad in corrugated aluminium, and one wing is supported on slender, angled stilts. The interior is characterized by a combination of richly-contrasting materials, such as marble floors, plywood sheeting, bamboo screens and room dividers made of corrugated plastic. An awning planned for the roof sadly could not be installed. Its material would have provided an external counterpoint to the hard corrugated surfaces such as was achieved inside in the alternating use of wood, marble and concrete.



Hans Hollein.


Hans Hollein

Hans Hollein, (born March 30, 1934, Vienna, Austria), Austrian architect and Pritzker Architecture Prize winner whose designs came to symbolize Modernist Viennese architecture.

Hollein studied civil engineering (1949–53) in Vienna before earning a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts there in 1956. A fellowship allowed him to travel to the United States for graduate studies in architecture and urban planning at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a master’s degree in architecture in 1960. This enabled him to meet and work with architects he had long admired, including Richard Neutra, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright. After working in Sweden, Germany, Australia, and the United States, Hollein established his own architectural studio in Vienna in 1964.

Early in his career, Hollein emerged as a vocal critic of the Functionalism that dominated much of Modernist architecture in the 1960s. Although he rejected the idea that a building’s exterior should serve only practical purposes, much of his architecture was decidedly Modernist. His first major design was for the Municipal Museum Abteiberg (1972–82) in Mönchengladbach, Ger. Three years after the museum’s completion, he was awarded the Pritzker Prize (1985). Hollein also designed the Museum of Modern Art (1991) in Frankfurt am Main, Ger., and the Haas Haus commercial complex (1985–90) in Vienna. The plans for the latter building, located next to St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the historical area of the city, met with firm resistance from critics who protested that the stone and glass structure would not fit well with the much older architecture surrounding it. The end result, however, incorporated the new with the old as fluidly as has been done in other European cities with ancient roots. Among his many projects at the beginning of the 21st century were the Interbank headquarters in Lima (1996–2001) and the Saturn Tower in Vienna (2002–04).

In addition to running his own architectural firm, Hollein held several academic posts in architecture and design. He was professor at the Academy of Arts, Düsseldorf (1967–76), and at the University of Applied Art in Vienna (1967–86), and he was a guest lecturer at Yale University and Ohio State University. He served as the Austrian commissioner to the Venice Biennale for art (1978–90) and later for architecture (1991–2000).

Encyclopædia Britannica


Hans Hollein. Stadtishes Museum Abteiberg in Monchengladbach, Germany, 1972-1982

Hans Hollein. Stadtishes Museum Abteiberg in Monchengladbach.
Exterior view of the exhibition rooms from the level of the roof terrace

Hans Hollein. Haas-Haus, Vienna, Austria

Hans Hollein. Museum fur Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main



Gae Aulenti.


Gae Aulenti

Gae Aulenti (born Gaetana Aulenti 4 December 1927) is an Italian architect, lighting and interior designer, and industrial designer. She is well known for several large-scale museum projects, including Musée d'Orsay in Paris (1980–86), the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985–86), and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2000–2003).

A native of Palazzolo dello Stella (Friuli), she studied in Milan. She worked for the design magazine Casabella from 1955 until 1965 as an art director, and become part of a group of young professionals influenced by the philosophy of Ernesto Nathan Rogers.

Aulenti has also occasionally worked as a stage designer for Luca Ronconi.


Gae Aulenti. Musee d'Orsay, Paris, 1980-1986



Tadao Ando.


Tadao Ando

Tadao Ando, Andō Tadao?, born September 13, 1941, in Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese architect whose approach to architecture was once categorized by Francesco Dal Co as critical regionalism. Ando has led a storied life, working as a truck driver and boxer prior to settling on the profession of architecture, despite never having taken formal training in the field. He visited buildings designed by renowned architects like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn before returning to Osaka in 1968 and established his own design studio, Tadao Ando Architect and Associates.

He works primarily in exposed cast-in-place concrete and is renowned[by whom?] for an exemplary craftsmanship which invokes a Japanese sense of materiality, junction and spatial narrative through the pared aesthetics of international modernism.In 1995, Ando won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the highest distinction in the field of architecture. He donated the $100,000 prize money to the orphans of the 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Tadao Ando's body of work is known for the creative use of natural light and for architectures that follow the natural forms of the landscape (rather than disturbing the landscape by making it conform to the constructed space of a building). The architect's buildings are often characterized by complex three-dimensional circulation paths. These paths interweave between interior and exterior spaces formed both inside large-scale geometric shapes and in the spaces between them. His "Row House in Sumiyoshi" (Azuma House, 住吉の長屋), a small two-story, cast-in-place concrete house completed in 1976, is an early Ando work which began to show elements of his characteristic style. It consists of three equally sized rectangular volumes: two enclosed volumes of interior spaces separated by an open courtyard. By nature of the courtyard's position between the two interior volumes, it becomes an integral part of the house's circulation system.

Ando's housing complex at Rokko, just outside Kobe, is a complex warren of terraces and balconies and atriums and shafts. The designs for Rokko Housing One (1983) and for Rokko Housing Two (1993) illustrate a range of issues in the traditional architectural vocabulary—the interplay of solid and void, the alternatives of open and closed, the contrasts of light and darkness. More significantly, Ando's noteworthy achievement in these clustered buildings is site specific—the structures survived undamaged after the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. New York Times architectural critic Paul Goldberger argues convincingly that "Ando is right in the Japanese tradition: spareness has always been a part of Japanese architecture, at least since the 16th century; [and] it is not without reason that Frank Lloyd Wright more freely admitted to the influences of Japanese architecture than of anything American." Like, Wright's Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, which did survive the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, site specific decision-making, anticipates seismic activity in Ando's several Hyōgo-Awaji buildings.



Tadao Ando. Koshino House in Ashiya, Hyago, Japan, 1979-1981

Tadao Ando. "Row House" in Sumiyoshi, Osaka, Japan, 1975-1976

Tadao Ando. The Westin Awaji Island hotel on Awaji Island, Japan

Tadao Ando.
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Japan



Rem Koolhaas.


Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas, (born Nov. 17, 1944, Rotterdam, Netherlands), Dutch architect known for buildings and writings that embrace the energy of modernity.

Koolhaas worked as a journalist before becoming an architect. Changing his focus to architecture, from 1968 to 1972 he studied at the Architectural Association in London, and from 1972 to 1975 he studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1975 he formed the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp, his wife, with offices in Rotterdam and London.

Koolhaas first achieved recognition not as an architect but as an urban theorist when his book Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan was published in 1978. The book suggested that the architectural development of Manhattan was an organic process created through a variety of cultural forces. In this way, New York and other major cities functioned as a metaphor for contemporary experience. During this period Koolhaas and OMA frequently operated at a theoretical and conceptual level, conceiving of varied works that remained unbuilt, including the Parc de La Villette (1982–83) and Très Grande Bibliothèque (1989), both in Paris. One major work that was realized was the National Dance Theatre (1984–87) at The Hague, which was notable for its wavy roof and clearly divided series of spaces.

In the 1990s Koolhaas and OMA saw several important works to fruition, including the Nexus Housing project (1989–91) in Fukuoka, Japan; the Kunsthal (1992) in Rotterdam; a private residence (1994–98) in Bordeaux, France; and the Educatorium (1993–97), a multipurpose building at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who developed a distinctive aesthetic, Koolhaas did not establish a constant look from project to project. Instead, he created architecture that, utilizing the best of modern technology and materials, spoke to the needs of a particular site and client. For instance, the Bordeaux house, made for a client in a wheelchair, utilized a dramatic glass room that acted as an elevator between the levels of the house. In these commissions, Koolhaas refused to refer to past styles (he called for an “end to sentimentality”), choosing instead to engage directly with the true gritty character of the modern world. For example, his Kunsthal dramatically engages with urban modernity through its electronic billboard and orange steel components.

The combination of Koolhaas’s theoretical writings with his fondness for asymmetry, challenging spatial explorations, and unexpected uses of colour led many to classify him as a deconstructivist. However, his work, unlike that of other deconstructivists, does not rely heavily on theory, and it is imbued with a strong sense of humanity and a concern for the role that architecture plays in everyday life, particularly in an urban context. This grounding in reality was reflected in Koolhaas’s keen interest in urban planning, most notably in a master plan for a new city centre in Lille, France (1985–95), through which he transformed Lille into a business, entertainment, and residential centre. His celebrated Grand Palais, an elliptical structure utilizing plastic and aluminum, was at the centre of this plan.

Koolhaas’s second book, S, M, L, XL (1995), chronicles the accomplishments of OMA and architecture at the end of the 20th century. At the turn of the 21st century, Koolhaas and OMA received numerous commissions. Among the most noteworthy were a series of international stores for the Prada fashion house, the Netherlands embassy (1997–2003) in Berlin, a student centre at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1997–2003) in Chicago, the Seattle (Washington) Public Library (1999–2004), and the headquarters for Beijing’s state-owned China Central Television (CCTV; 2004–08). The CCTV building, noted for its angular-loop shape, is the centrepiece of a complex including the Koolhaas-designed Mandarin Oriental hotel, which was under construction when it was severely damaged by fire in 2009.

Beginning in 1995, Koolhaas taught graduate seminars at Harvard University. Among his many honours was the Pritzker Prize in 2000; the foundation’s president, Thomas J. Pritzker, described him as “a prophet of a new modern architecture.” In 2003 Koolhaas was awarded the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture, and in 2004 he was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Rem Koolhaas. Dutch Embassy. Berlin, Germany

Rem Koolhaas. Villa dall'Ava in St. Cloud, Paris, 1991

Rem Koolhaas. Villa dall'Ava in St. Cloud. View of the interior

Rem Koolhaas. Seattle Central Library

Rem Koolhaas. Kunsthal Rotterdam. Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rem Koolhaas. Congress Centre in Lille, France, 1990-1994

Rem Koolhaas.
"Educatorium", Utrecht University, The Nietherlands, 1995-1997

Rem Koolhaas. Casa da Música. Porto, Portugal

Rem Koolhaas. The McCormick Tribune Campus Center at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.


Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

| privacy