ROBERT VENTURI by noidarocker


									                               ROBERT VENTURI
Robert Charles Venturi, Jr. (born June 25, 1925 in Philadelphia) is an award-winning American architect
and founding principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates(VSBA). Robert Venturi and his wife
and partner, Denise Scott Brown, are regarded among the most influential architects of the twentieth
century, both through their architecture and planning, and
theoretical writings and teaching. Venturi was awarded the
Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 1991. He is also known for
coining the maxim "Less is a bore" as antidote to Mies van der
Rohe's famous modernist dictum "Less is more". Venturi lives in
Philadelphia with Scott Brown. They have a son, James

Venturi has designed many buildings, his theories have created
more impact. Based on the philosophy of 'complexity and
contradiction', he has re-assessed architecture to stress the
importance of multiple meanings in appreciating design.

In contrast to many modernists, Venturi uses a form of
symbolically decorated architecture based on precedents. He
believes that structure and decoration should remain separate
entities and that decoration should reflect the culture in which it
exists. In contradiction, Venturi also considers symbolism
unnecessary since modern technology and historical symbolism
rarely harmonize.

Although Venturi considers himself a architect of Western classical tradition, he claims that architectural
rules have changed. He rejects a populist label, but in Learning from Las Vegas he shifted from an
intellectual critique of Modernism in terms of complexity to an ironic acceptance of the "kitsch of high
capitalism" as a form of vernacular. His theories have generated the populist aesthetic of the recent Post-

Venturi says: 'we tried to harmonize with his
masterpiece in ways not too obvious.'

Education and Teaching
Venturi attended school at the Episcopal
Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania. He graduated
summa cum laude from Princeton University in
1947 and received his M.F.A. there in 1950. In
1951 he briefly worked under Eero Saarinen in
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later for Louis
Kahn in Philadelphia. He was awarded the Rome
Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in 1954, where he studied and toured Europe for two

From 1954 to 1965, Venturi held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as
Kahn's teaching assistant, an instructor, and later, as associate professor. It was there, in 1960, that he met
fellow faculty member, architect and planner Denise Scott Brown. Venturi taught later at Yale University
and was a visiting lecturer with Scott Brown in 2003 at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Architectural Practice
Venturi created the firm Venturi and Short with William Short
in 1960. John Rauch replaced Short as partner in 1964,
changing the name to Venturi and Rauch. Venturi and Denise
Scott Brown were married on July 23, 1967 in Santa Monica,
California, and Scott Brown joined the firm as partner in
charge of planning in 1969. The firm became known as
Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown in 1980, and, finally, after
Rauch's resignation in 1989, Venturi, Scott Brown and
Associates. The firm, based in Philadelphia, was awarded the
Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of
Architects in 1985. Recent work has included many
commissions from academic institutions, including campus
planning and university buildings, and civic buildings in London, Toulouse and Japan. Venturi is a Fellow of
the American Institute of Architects and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

A controversial critic of the purely functional and spare designs of modern orthodox architecture, Venturi
has been considered a counterrevolutionary. He published his "gentle manifesto," Complexity and
Contradiction in Architecture in 1966, described in the introduction by Vincent Scully to be "probably the
most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier's 'Vers Une Architecture', of 1923."
Venturi received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 1965 to aid in its completion. The book has been
translated and published in 18 languages.

In 1972, with Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, Venturi wrote Learning from Las Vegas: the
Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. The book published studies of the Las Vegas Strip undertaken
by a 1970 research and design studio Venturi taught with Scott Brown at Yale's School of Architecture and
Planning. Learning from Las Vegas was a further rebuke to orthodox modernism and elite architectural
tastes. The book coined the terms "Duck" and "Decorated Shed" as applied to opposing architectural
building styles.
Selected works
  Episcopal Academy Chapel; Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

  Dumbarton Oaks Library, Harvard University; Washington,
  D.C. (2005)

  Undergraduate Science Building, Life Sciences Institute and
  Palmer Commons complex, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor,
  Michigan (2005)

  Biomedical Biological Science Research Building (BBSRB), University of Kentucky; Lexington,
  Kentucky (2005)

  Baker/Berry Library, Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire (2002)

  Frist Campus Center, Princeton University; New Jersey (2000)

  Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire (2000)

  Perelman Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia (2000)

  Provincial Capitol Building; Toulouse, France (1999)

  Gonda (Goldschmied) Neurosciences and Genetics
  Research Center, UCLA; Los Angeles, California (1998)

  Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri Resort; Nikko National Park, Japan

  Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; San Diego,
  California (1996)

  Charles P. Stevenson, Jr. Library, Bard College; Annondale-
  on-Hudson, New York (1994)

  Children's Museum; Houston, Texas (1992)

  Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Medical Research Laboratories, UCLA; Los Angeles, California (1991)

  Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, London; United Kingdom (1991)

  Seattle Art Museum; Seattle, Washington (1991)

  Restoration of the Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia (1991)
House in East Hampton, Long Island, New York (1990)

Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey (1986)

Gordon Wu Hall; Princeton University, New Jersey (1983)

House in New Castle, Delaware (1983)

Coxe-Hayden House and Studio; Block Island, Rhode
Island (1981)

Best Products Catalog Showroom; Langhorne,
Pennsylvania (1978)

Allen Memorial Art Museum modern addition, Oberlin
College; Oberlin, Ohio (1976)

BASCO Showroom; Philadelphia (1976)

Franklin Court; Philadelphia (1976)

Dixwell Fire Station, New Haven, CT (1974)

Brant House; Greenwich, Connecticut (1972)

Trubek and Wislocki Houses; Nantucket, Massachusetts (1971)

Fire Station #4; Columbus, Indiana (1968)

Vanna Venturi House; Philadelphia (1964)

Guild House; Philadelphia (1964)

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, interior renovation
(The James B. Duke House); New York (1958)

The Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill
neighborhood, designed for Venturi's mother, was recognized
as a "Masterwork of Modern American Architecture" by the
United States Postal Service in May 2005.
   Design Mind Award, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards; 2007 (with Denise Scott Brown)[2]

   Vincent J. Scully Prize, National Building Museum;
   2002 (with Denise Scott Brown)[3]

   Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres,
   Republique Française, Ministère de la Culture et de la
   Communication; 2000

   National Medal of Arts, United States Presidential
   Award; 1992 (with Denise Scott Brown)[4]

   The Pritzker Architecture Prize; 1991 [5]

   AIA Twenty-Five Year Award, to the Vanna Venturi
   House; 1989[6]

   Commendatore of the Order of Merit, Republic of Italy; 1986

   AIA Architecture Firm Award, to Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown; 1985

   AIA Medal for Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture; 1978

   Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, 1978

   Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome; 1956

                                        Details of one work

Architects: Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.
Location: Newtown Square, PA
Client: Episcopal Academy
Area: 15,000 sf
Construction Cost: $8,500,000
Completion: 2008
The Episcopal Academy was founded in Philadelphia in
1795 andsubsequently established campuses outside
the city in Devon and Merion. In 2001, they acquired land to relocate both campuses to a single parcel in
Newtown Square -- 123 acres of woods, wetlands, and former

The new campus is to consist of seven new structures and
three renovated buildings arranged around a central green
commons. The focus of this “school village” will be a new
Chapel, which VSBA was selected to design. (Curiously
enough, as the subject of his 1950 Master’s Thesis at
Princeton, Robert Venturi designed a chapel for the Episcopal
Academy’s Merion campus.)
VSBA designed the Chapel to be an iconic campus landmark -
- immediately identifiable and symbolic of the new campus, yet
also a well-used and highly-functional school facility.

Its distinctive form is composed of many layers -- of masonry
walls and soaring clerestories. The spaces between these
layers allow circulation and light. The impressive and gently
monumental scale of the building is softened by striped patterns at pedestrian-level.

Inside, the Chapel’s fan-shaped plan allows worshipers to face each other as well as the altar, nurturing a
sense of togetherness and community. This was a configuration
endorsed by the chaplain at the beginning of the design process -
- and as we like to say, we get our best ideas from our clients.

The interior is lit by means of 2 levels of clerestory windows and
from the interstices between over-lapping layers of walls, which
allow indirect light to create aura.

The Chapel will serve as an important facet of life at Episcopal
Academy. Upper and middle school students attend Chapel three
days a week, lower school students attend once a week. While
the service celebrates the Episcopalian heritage, it serves and
welcomes students of all faiths.

          SUBMITTED BY:-
           ARSHAD ZAHEER
            SAKET SHUKLA

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