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Episcopal Academy Chapel; Newtown, Pennsylvania (2008)

ROBERT

Dumbarton Oaks Library, Harvard Univ.; Washington (2005)

VENTURI

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

of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.

Frist Campus Center, Princeton University; New Jersey (2000) Perelman Quadrangle, Pennsylvania Univ.; Philadelphia (2000) Provincial Capitol Building; Toulouse, France (1999) Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri Resort; Japan (1997) Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; California (1996) Provincial Capitol Building; Toulouse, France (1999) Children's Museum; Houston, Texas (1992) Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, London (1991) Seattle Art Museum; Seattle, Washington (1991) House in East Hampton, Long Island, New York (1990)

Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton Univ., New Jersey (1986) Gordon Wu Hall; Princeton University, New Jersey (1983) Coxe-Hayden House and Studio; Rhode Island (1981)

worked with Eero Saarinen and Louis I. Kahn

founded his own practice in 1958 formed a partnership with John Rausch in 1964 wife Denise Scott Brown joined the partnership in 1967 won the Pritzker Prize in 1991

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Best Products Catalog Showroom; Pennsylvania (1978) BASCO Showroom; Philadelphia (1976) Franklin Court; Philadelphia (1976) selected works

graduated from Princeton University

PRACTICE

born 1925 in Philadelphia, US

Dixwell Fire Station, New Haven, CT (1974) Fire Station #4; Columbus, Indiana (1968) Lieb House, Barnegat Light, New Jersey (1967)

Vanna Venturi House; Philadelphia (1964)

Bhavika Aggarwal

Bhavika Aggarwal

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi


THEORY

duck building type where it‟s shape/ form gives a clear message of the functions of the structure decorated shed simple, even boring building which literally has a sign placed in front of it telling its purposes or functions

Venturi favors the decorated shed

“application of symbols to the building form has been a long tradition throughout architectural history, a tradition which was only recently lost in the architecture of the modern era”

theory should not dominate the design process “the artist is not someone who designs in order to prove his or her theory and certainly not to suit an ideology” “any building that tries merely to express a theory or any building that starts with a theory and works very deductively is very dry”

COMPLEXITY AND CONTRADICTION IN ARCHITECTURE “gentle manifesto for a non-straightforward architecture” rebellion against the purism of Modernism

LEARNING FROM LAS VEGAS “the forgotten symbolism of architectural form” embraces popularism and vernacular idiom „low art‟ such as supermarkets, parking lots, commercial strips & casinos offer lessons in planning, urban design & architecture

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it is better to be good than to be original designers should be prepared to learn more by copying from the masters “you have to have something basic that you either build on or evolve from or revolt against. You have to have something there in the first place and the only way to get it is to copy, in a good sense of the word” a facility between hand and mind central importance of drawing in the design process

“less is a bore” “I am not and have never been a postmodernist”

Bhavika Aggarwal

Bhavika Aggarwal

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi


CASE STUDY

1964

VANNA VENTURI HOUSE "This building recognizes complexities and contradictions: it is both complex and simple, open and closed, big and little; some of its elements are good on one level and bad on another. Its order accommodates the generic elements of the house in general, and the circumstantial elements of a house in particular."

typical house elevation -the symbolic imagery of shelter- wide symmetrical gable (the classical pediment, but here on the longer facade) split down the middle, and the offcentre chimney poking out in an exaggerated manner from the back. central entrance creates a sense of symmetry, which is distorted because of the windows: 5 squares on either side, but located depending on their function in the interior- on the kitchen side, all five in a row, and squares for the bedroom and bathroom. plan contains only five functional rooms, but on the outside it relates to public scale, seeming much larger than it actually is interior is centered around the fireplace, as in a generic house, but here the staircase and the fireplace complete to be the „core‟ of the house- on one side the fireplace distorts in shape and it and the chimney move over a little; on the other side the stair constricts its width and changes its path because of the chimney The use of purely symbolic elements -not structural, like the decorative arch over of the entrance and the lunette window

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Bhavika Aggarwal

Bhavika Aggarwal

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi


CRITIQUE He says “theory should not dominate the design process”. But ideologies such as postmodernism do overshadow some of his work. For example, the Vanna Venturi house –the physical expression of his „Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture‟- I think, perhaps, he goes too far with the staircase and the fireplace competing for the central core.

I appreciate a lot of his buildings for their simplicity, and I like most of his „design philosophies‟: the decorated shed, no theory necessary, good > original.

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Is there perhaps an element of sarcasm or satire in his use of symbolism? The Guild House Retirement Home was topped off with a non functional antenna to commemorate the elderly‟s appreciation for television.

The fact that he recognized and put down coherently what exactly was wrong with modernism is very impressive. I also like his ideas on popularism and „Learning from Las Vegas‟- appreciating the „low‟ architecture.

Some of his work seems very boring and uninspiring –the decorated shed? The Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery of London.

Bhavika Aggarwal

Bhavika Aggarwal

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi

A/2004/2008 B. Arch. 3rd Yr. ‘A’ SPA, New Delhi

Robert Venturi  

Part of a Theory of Design project. Profile and critique of architect Robert Venturi's work and philosophies.

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