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



In numerous cities in the final third of the twentieth century, the restructuring of industry meant that relatively central areas of land which had previously been occupied by docks or factories suddenly became free for development. London, Rotterdam and New York were amongst those with large tracts of land being thus released. In Berlin, the fall of the Wall sparked a rush of grandiose building projects in the Potsdamer Platz district. The growing sectors within the service industry and the computer industry required first and foremost office space, which urban planners tried, wherever possible, to intermix with an appropriate proportion of housing development, in order to avoid the notorious desolation of such commercial districts outside business hours. Much thought went into the design of these new developments, yet despite the participation of prominent architecture firms, most of them lacked the charm which urban dwellers like to see in their surroundings. Too often were design solutions based solely on economic considerations dictated to the planners by big investors; too narrow-minded were the planning regulations imposed by certain authorities; too anxious were politicians about excessive costs and offending employers.

At the same time, a subtle change was also taking place in the role of the architect: instead of creative artists with an eye for detail, there was an ever greater demand for construction managers who knew about feasibility studies, awarding contracts, protocols and price negotiations, and who worked alongside the planners in the role at least of inspector. Few were able to straddle the gap between these diverging demands.

Despite all the commercialization, however, the fundamental design concept remained necessary. Architectural competitions and the architectural press continued to seek after clear and focused designs. Those architects who decisively asserted artistic impulses, even within their often rigid design concepts, consequently came to exercise an enduring influence upon the younger generation. It seems no coincidence that, within the framework of strictly defined spatial programmes, the material and textural qualities of buildings now came to assume a particular significance, at least in the broader context.

In Peter Zumthor's Thermal Baths in Vals, the thin slabs of regional grey-green stone become a means of expressing correlation with the surrounding landscape and, at the same time, distance from mediocre buildings in the immediate proximity. In choosing what material to build in, it is thus not just a question of what is suitable, it is a matter of expressing the decision-making process, whose
criteria go beyond mere functionality, clearly through the building itself. The fact that the interior of the Thermal Baths is lent, by means of skilful lighting, the character almost of a grotto is only appropriate for a building erected half inside a hillside and clad internally, too, in natural stone. On the other hand, sound installations and small bathing rooms evoke an almost esoteric mood which places the baths in a very different tradition to the public spas of the 1920s, in which the creed "light and air for all" still sufficed. Light, both natural and artificial, is here just as much a building material as stone. It is used to produce sophisticated effects: in one place it is reflected by glittering water, in another, it falls through narrow openings,- in another, it is diffused by the steam of hot baths.

While a typical aspect of the development of modern architecture was its use of recurring and economical materials, producing buildings which often looked strongly alike, experiments with new materials, colour and light since the early 1990s have led to surprising new appearances and richly variegated surfaces in both exteriors and interiors. With regard to the demands of classical Modernism, however, this may be seen as a further evolution rather than a break.

While the use of glass and steel allows architecture to be clearly delimited from its natural surroundings, and whereas industrialization was once a matter of pride, contemporary definitions of architecture - as proposed in particular through the conscious choice of materials - see nature as a partner. Wood, especially, experienced a renaissance in the last decade of the twentieth century, both as a construction material and as cladding. At Expo 2000 in Hanover, held under the slogan of "Man - Nature - Technology", exhibiting countries had a chance to demonstrate, through the design of their national pavilions, the visions this theme inspired in them. At the end of the day, however, only Peter Zumthor's Swiss Pavilion carried conviction. A spatial structure of 9-metre-high stacks of larch and pine, consisting of beams laid loosely on top of each other and secured only by steel wire, provided the framework for a broader concept: a score organized the entrance of musicians during the opening hours, and quotations about Switzerland were projected onto the walls. Amongst the neighbouring pavilions, whose presentations embraced the format of hectic media shows, Zumthor's "sound body" represented a meditative and sovereign counterpoint, whose qualities did not suffer even when the pavilion was full. It is all the more surprising that Zumthor's architecture - which typically creates contemplative, concentrated and austere spaces which are strongly indebted to their regional surroundings - should assert itself so emphatically within the rootless context of this exhibition.

Within an urban framework, however, the search for new definitions of architecture is influenced by other factors, too. The work of Rem Koolhaas here plays an outstanding role, not least through his published writings, such as "Delirious New York" and "X, M, L, XL". In his sadly unrealised project for a centre of art and media technology, a media facade played a central role. It was not simply a matter of taking the events happening inside the building out onto its exterior,-rather, the exterior of the building was released from its serving function and itself became the decisive medium in which the architecture reacted to its media-determined environment. The dismembering of the architectural body into individual elements, each with different design lines, thereby becomes the logical framework within which the careful composition stands clone against the principle of disorder. Staircases and doorways, ceilings and lighting solutions change from storey to storey, from room to room.

As part of the Euralille urban expansion project, Koolhaas designed an oval congress building whose facades employ a rich variety of structures. The interiors are determined both by economical materials, such as wall sections out of corrugated plastic and plywood, and by gleaming linoleum floors and metal grilles. Sophisticated effects are produced by walls of distorting mirrors.

Diversity also characterizes Jean Nouvel's Cultural Centre in Lucerne. The facades of the three-sectioned concert hall, exhibition centre and public auditorium are shaded by the thin, angular, projecting roof, so that when seen from a distance, the sophisticated, deeply saturated colouring of the exterior facade facing the lake is reduced to an area of black, cut out of the city's silhouette. The concert hall itself is located within a sculptural sheath of wooden boards, as a body within the building appearing on the outside. With its smooth surface, this inner sheath recalls a musical instrument. Inside, movable wall panels ensure outstanding acoustics.

The rectangular, elongated Dominus winery by Herzog & de Meuron, situated amidst the vineyards of the Napa Valley, is hallmarked by its use of natural stone. The concrete walls are sheathed by wire baskets filled with locallyquarried basalt rocks. The rocks, ranging from dark green to black in colour, not only protect the winery from the region's extreme fluctuations in temperature, but make the building virtually disappear amongst the tall vines surrounding it. They are packed in layers of differing thickness, so that light can filter through - daylight penetrating into the interiors, and artificial light radiating outside. The architects compare the character of the building's shell, with its varying degrees of transparency, to a skin rather than a traditional masonry structure. It almost breathes its surroundings.

In an earlier project, their factory and warehouse for the Ricola herbal confectionery company in Mulhouse, Herzog & de Meuron returned to the typical materials of Modernism - glass, concrete and steel - whereby their glass facades are not transparent, but translucent. Internal structures are only suggested; the transparency of the facades varies with the time of day and amount of sunlight. The front and back of the factory, and its projecting roof, consist of translucent poly-carbonate panels which are imprinted with a plant motif. The narrow sides of the building are a black concrete on which the rain leaves its traces and produces a subtle effect: "In the wet, this wall seems more transparent than the glazed wall, an effect which we really like, not just because it is beautiful, but because it casts solidity and transparency into question."

Translucency and transparency are the terms in which the optical permeability of the outer shell of a building is discussed. It should also be added that the problems created in the past by overheating on sunny days can now be avoided, in multi-skinned glass facades with controlled permeability, by means of modern ventilation systems and the use of insulating glass. The very fact that the fully transparent building is now technologically possible, however, prompts the question as to what values the user expects of it, beyond protection from the rain and the cold. Perhaps a house should not be entirely silent, a mere technical sheath,- perhaps it should also say something. The dialogue it conducts can only take place via its skin, the outer shell of the building.




An equally brilliant example is the Hysolar Research Institute at the University of Stuttgart (fig.
1251) by the firm of Behnisch and Partner. The hall between the laboratory wings both reflects and parodies the scientific work being carried on. The materials suggest the "high-tech" purpose of the project, which is to investigate energy based on hydrogen produced by solar power, while the free-flowing passage indicates the collaborative exchange of ideas. Yet the sensation produced by the collision of twisted forms is not unlike careening down a roller coaster. Nothing, it seems, works the way it should in the orderly world of modern science!

Hall between Laboratory Wings, Hysolar Research Institute,
University of Stuttgart.




One of the first architects avowedly influenced by deconstruction is Bernard Tschumi (born
1944). The most complete embodiment of his Deconstuctivism is the Parc de La Villette in Paris, for which the founder of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, later wrote an essay in the brochure explaining the project. The park's program was set by the fact that it had to include a variety of functions (workshop, baths, gymnasium, playground, concert facilities) and other parks and buildings already on the site. Tschumi's solution is directly related to this fact and presents an intelligent solution to what could have been a hopelessly complex problem that would have overwhelmed any traditional approach.

To describe the Parc de La Villette, we must resort to the coded terminology of Deconstructivism itself. The architect began by laying out the grounds in a simple abstract grid to provide a strong, yet flexible conceptual framework for change, improvisation, and substitution; he then subverted it by superimposing two other grid systems on it, so as to prevent any dominant hierarchy or clear relation between the program and the solution (fig. 1252). This multiple grid is deliberately antifunctional, anticontextual, and infinite. (In principle, it could be extended in any direction indefinitely.) Tschumi creates highly unorthodox relationships through decentralization, fragmentation, combination, and superimposition of elements, so that the architecture appears to serve no purpose. He further supplants form, function, and structure with contiguity, substitution, and permutation. To undermine the traditional rules of composition, hierarchy, and order, he uses crossprogramming (using space for a different purpose than intended), transprogramming (combining two incompatible programs and spaces), and disprogramming (combining two programs to create a new one from their contradictions). The programmatic functions are dispersed through a series of buildings (called folies) whose components, appearance, and uses are interchangeable. The play between free and rigid form within this multiplicity leads to ambiguity, disorder, impurity, imperfection. The result denies any inherent meaning to the forms, structure, or organization.

What does all this theory have to do with the actual experience? Surprisingly little. The ensemble is meant to induce a sense of disassociation, both within and between its elements, that conveys an unstable programmatic madness (folie) through a form of cinematic montage inspired by the films of the Russian Sergei Eisenstein and others. However, the visitor is hardly aware of this effect. On the contrary, the system creates an order and rhythm of its own, whether Tschumi intended it or not. We are left only with a feeling of enchantment, which suggests the more playful meaning of folie, not just madness. The folies themselves resemble large-scale sculptures extended almost to the breaking point (fig. 1253). Yet the tension between the reality of the built structures and their "impossibility" results in an architecture of rare vitality. It is especially fitting that two of the most captivating folies are for use by children. Although the architect insists that he was not expressing himself, this effect is perhaps the ultimate test of the park's success. Tschumi himself acknowledges the fact indirectly by speaking of affirmative deconstructiona self-contradiction if ever there was one!

We may yet see one Deconstructivist deconstructing the work of another Deconstructivist. Peter Eisenman (born 1932) has designed a second garden for the Parc de La Villette that poses what might be called "the battle of the grids": Tschumi's versus Eisenman's version of Deconstructivist point grid, which the latter claims to have discovered first. And in this case, it was designed with Derrida's collaboration from the start. To pull it off, Eisenman has added new layers of ever more complex rhetoric (called "tropes" in the current parlance) to justify what amounts to skillful one-upmanship. Since the plan has yet to be built, it remains to be seen whether the results will support the dense verbiage.


Plan, Parc de La Villette, Paris.


Bernard Tschumi

Bernard Tschumi (born January 25, 1944 Lausanne, Switzerland) is an architect, writer, and educator, commonly associated with deconstructivism. Born of French and Swiss parentage, he works and lives in New York and Paris. He studied in Paris and at ETH in Zurich, where he received his degree in architecture in 1969. Tschumi has taught at Portsmouth Polytechnic in Portsmouth, UK, the Architectural Association in London, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, Princeton University, the Cooper Union in New York and Columbia University where he was Dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from 1988 to 2003. Tschumi is a permanent U.S. resident.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


1253. Bernard Tschumi. Parc de la Vilette in Paris, 1982-1990.
Folie L5

1253. Bernard Tschumi. Parc de la Vilette in Paris, 1982-1990.
Folie P7

1253. Bernard Tschumi. Parc de la Vilette in Paris, 1982-1990.
Folie N7

1253. Bernard Tschumi. Parc de la Vilette in Paris, 1982-1990.

1253. Bernard Tschumi. Parc de la Vilette in Paris, 1982-1990.



Peter Eisenman.


Peter Eisenman

Peter Eisenman, in full Peter David Eisenman (born Aug. 12, 1932, Newark, N.J., U.S.), American architect known for his radical designs and architectural theories. He is often characterized as a deconstructivist.

Eisenman studied at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. (B.A., 1955), Columbia University, New York City (M.S., 1960), and the University of Cambridge (M.A., 1962; Ph.D., 1963). In 1967 he founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City, and from 1973 to 1982 he was editor of the institute’s publication, Oppositions, which was one of the foremost journals of architectural thought. He also taught at a variety of universities, including the University of Cambridge, Princeton University, Yale University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, and Cooper Union in New York City.

During his tenure at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, Eisenman became renowned as a theoretician of architecture. He thought outside the traditional parameters of “built work,” concerning himself instead with a conceptual form of architecture, in which the process of architecture is represented through diagrams rather than through actual construction. In his designs he fragmented existing architectural models in a way that drew upon concepts from philosophy and linguistics, specifically the ideas of the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Jacques Derrida and the linguist Noam Chomsky. Because of these affiliations, Eisenman was alternately classified as a postmodernist, deconstructivist, and poststructuralist.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Eisenman’s ideas took form in a series of numbered houses—e.g., House I (1967–68) in Princeton, N.J., House II (1969–70) in Hardwick, Vt., and House VI (1972–75) in Cornwall, Conn. These structures were in effect a series of experiments that referred to Modernism’s rigid geometry and rectangular plans but took these elements to a theoretical extreme: in details such as stairways that led nowhere and columns that did not function as support for the structure, Eisenman rejected the functional concept that was at the core of much Modernism. This early work, which some critics saw as nihilistic, earned him a place as one of the “New York Five,” along with future postmodernists Richard Meier and Michael Graves.

In 1980 Eisenman established a professional practice in New York City. He embarked on a number of major projects, characterized by disconcerting forms, angles, and materials, including the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts (1983–89) at Ohio State University in Columbus, the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center (1993), and the Aronoff Center for Design and Art (1996) at the University of Cincinnati (Ohio). In the Wexner Center, one of the best known of his commissions, Eisenman flouted traditional planning by creating a north-south grid for the spine of the building that was exactly perpendicular to the east-west axis of the university campus. He also challenged viewers’ expectation of materials, enclosing half the space in glass and the other half in scaffolding. Among his later projects were the award-winning Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (opened 2005) in Berlin and the University of Phoenix Stadium (opened 2006) in Glendale, Ariz.

He published Diagram Diaries in 1999. His later writings include Eisenman Inside Out: Selected Writings, 1963–1988 (2004), Peter Eisenman: Barefoot on White-Hot Walls (2005), edited by Peter Noever, and Written into the Void: Selected Writings 1990–2004 (2007).

Encyclopædia Britannica


Peter Eisenman.
Miller House, Lakeville, Connecticut, 1969-1971

Peter Eisenman. Frank House, Cornwall, Connecticut, 1972-1973

Peter Eisenman. Frank House, Cornwall, Connecticut, 1972-1973
Interior view

Peter Eisenman. Wexner Center for Visual Arts,
Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, 1982-1989



Peter Zumthor.


Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor, (born April 26, 1943, Basel, Switz.), Swiss architect known for his pure, austere structures, which have been described as timeless and poetic. These qualities were noted when he was awarded the 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Zumthor, the son of a furniture maker and master joiner, graduated from the Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switz., in 1963 and in 1966 continued his studies at the Pratt Institute in New York City. In 1979 he established a practice in Halderstein, Switz. From the beginning, Zumthor purposefully kept his practice small so that he could be intimately involved with all elements of planning and construction. In his early Swiss commissions, such as the St. Benedict Chapel (1985–88) in Sumvitg, Zumthor established his respect for site and materials. The timber-construction chapel is tapered to the extreme shape of the site, which is high on a nearly vertical meadow. The simple timber shingles on the exterior speak to traditions in the region, but the rigid, massive austerity of the space is thoroughly modern. There, as with most of his work, natural light dramatically fills the space.

A commission to design the Therme spa (1986–96) in Vals, Switz., presented Zumthor with a prime opportunity to create a series of varied spatial experiences. The structure, appearing like an enormous geometric rock carved within the hillside, is made from local quartz and concrete. The building’s entry is a dark tunnel, which frames a dramatic interior view of the site’s series of cubic spaces. Geometric windows carved in the granite exterior let in natural light, which interacts with the site’s pools of water to create shimmering, refracting effects. (There, water is another material that Zumthor used to maximum advantage.) At one end of the building, large windows frame a dramatic view of the mountain site. With this commission, Zumthor gained international attention for his blend of the monumental and the intimate and his masterful use of materials.

Although sometimes classified as a minimalist because of the austerity of his spaces, Zumthor does not have a single style or material of choice. Instead, he reacts to the needs of each individual commission. For example, in the Kunsthaus (1987–97), an art museum in Bregenz, Austria, Zumthor created an airy glass cube that generates a translucent gray light. Each of the building’s four concrete stories has a glass ceiling, letting in natural light that is optimum for a gallery space. The pristine quality of the building makes it seem like a temple to art; he furthered this impression by housing the libraries, offices, shop, and café in a separate building, making the main structure strictly a space in which to view art. Among his other notable projects are the Spittelhof housing plan (1989–96) in Biel-Benken, Switz.; a residential home for the elderly (1989–93) in Chur, Switz.; the Swiss pavilion for Expo 2000 (1997–2000) in Hannover, Ger.; the Brother Klaus Field Chapel (2007) in Mechernich, Ger.; and the Kolumba art museum (2007) in Cologne, Ger.

Zumthor has taught at a variety of universities, including the Technical University in Munich the Southern California Institute for Architecture in Los Angeles, and Tulane University in New Orleans. In addition to the Pritzker Architecture Prize, he won Denmark’s Carlsberg Prize for Architecture (1998) and the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale (2008).

Encyclopædia Britannica


Peter Zumthor. Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland, 1990-1996

Peter Zumthor.
Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland, 1990-1996

Peter Zumthor. Thermal Baths in Vals, Switzerland, 1990-1996

Peter Zumthor.
Swiss Pavillion at Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany



Santiago Calatrava.


Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava, in full Santiago Calatrava Valls (born July 28, 1951, Benimamet, near Valencia, Spain), Spanish architect widely known for his sculptural bridges and buildings.

Calatrava studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, from which he graduated in 1974. The following year he began a course in structural engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, receiving a Ph.D. in technical science (1979) for a thesis entitled On the Foldability of Frames. In 1981 he established his own architecture and engineering firm in Zürich. (He would later open offices in Paris, Valencia, and New York.)

Calatrava gained a reputation for his ability to blend advanced engineering solutions with dramatic visual statements, in both bridges and buildings. When Expo ’92 was going to Sevilla, Spain, the city needed to have bridges constructed to allow access to an island that would be used for exhibitions. Calatrava’s Alamillo Bridge (1987–92), built for this purpose, instantly received international attention. The dramatic structure’s central feature is a 466-foot (142-metre) pylon that inclines asymmetrically away from the river, supporting a span with more than a dozen pairs of cables. The dramatic image, resembling a harp, transformed bridge engineering into a form of sculpture that can invigorate its surrounding landscape. Calatrava’s other innovative bridges include the Lusitania Bridge (1988–91) in Mérida, Spain, the Campo Volantin Footbridge (1990–97) in Bilbao, Spain, and the Woman’s Bridge (1998–2001) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In his architectural commissions, Calatrava used his knowledge of engineering to create innovative, sculptural structures, often in concrete and steel. He stated that nature served as his guide, inspiring him to create buildings that reflected natural shapes and rhythms. He was intensely interested in the architectural use of zoomorphic forms, a passion evident in such buildings as Turning Torso (1999–2005), his unique apartment tower in Malmö, Sweden. Its sculptural shape suggested a twisting spinal column. For the Lyon (France) Airport Railway Station (1989–94), he created a building that resembled a bird with outspread wings; the interior skeletal steel frame reinforced this birdlike effect. The bird allusion had symbolic meaning as well, since the station served as the end point of the route from Lyon to the airport. Calatrava’s other memorable buildings include a renovation of the Stadelhofen Railway station (1983–90) in Zürich, the BCE Place Gallery and Heritage Square (1987–92) in Toronto, Tenerife Opera House (1991–2003) in the Canary Islands, and several structures (including an opera house, an arboretum, and a planetarium) for the City of Arts and Sciences (1991–2004) in Valencia.

In the early 1990s Calatrava begin to add movable aspects to his buildings. In the Kuwait Pavillion for Expo ’92 (1991–92), for example, he introduced segmented roof pieces that separate and regroup, creating different shapes and lighting effects. This changeable quality reached new heights in his addition to the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Museum of Art (1994–2001), for which he created a movable brisé soleil that resembles the wings of a bird as it opens and closes.

Calatrava received the contract to design the new rail station on the former site of the World Trade Center in New York City in 2004. The following year he was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects. Plans to build Calatrava’s design for the Chicago Spire, to have been the world’s tallest residential building (2,000 feet [610 metres]), did not come to fruition.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Santiago Calatrava. Ysios Winery, Laguardia, Spain, 1998-2001

Ysios Winery. Plan and cross-section

Santiago Calatrava. The concert hall of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Santiago Calatrava. Auditorio de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain



Massimiliano Fuksas.


Massimiliano Fuksas

Massimiliano Fuksas is an Italian architect, born in Rome in 1944. He received his degree in architecture from the La Sapienza University in 1969 in Rome, where he opened his first office. Subsequent offices were opened in Paris (1989) and Vienna (1993). From 1994 to 1997 he was a member of the urban commissions of Berlin and of Salzburg. For many years has dedicated his special attention to the study of urban problems and in particular to the suburbs.

From June 1997 he was advisor to the I.F.A. (Institut Français d'Architecture) Administration Board. Since January 2000, writes the architecture column of the weekly publication L'Espresso, established by Bruno Zevi. In 2000 he was the Director of The Venice Biennale's - 7th International Architecture Exhibition - "Less Aesthetics, More Ethics".

He is visiting professor at several universities, including the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris, and Columbia University in New York.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Massimiliano Fuksas. Entrance to the Grotto of Niaux, France, 1988-1993


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