Robert Venturi

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Robert Venturi
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Venturi, Robert,

1925–2018, American architect and architectural theorist, b. Philadelphia, grad. Princeton (B.A., 1947; M.F.A., 1950). An important and highly influential theorist, Venturi inveighed in his writings against the banality and simplicity of postwar modern architecture and argued for a more inclusive, contextual approach to design, advocating an unorthodox, mannered, eclectic, and humorous architecture and emphasizing the validity and vitality of American roadside strip buildings and advertising. Although he heralded the architectural movement known as postmodernismpostmodernism,
term used to designate a multitude of trends—in the arts, philosophy, religion, technology, and many other areas—that come after and deviate from the many 20th-cent. movements that constituted modernism.
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, he never considered himself a postmodernist. Venturi went into private practice in 1960. Among his early large works is Guild House in Philadelphia (1962–66), whose entrance is distinguished by a bold, billboardlike sign and whose flat facade is punctuated by mismatched windows. A more restrained historicizing mode characterized his later public works, such as Gordon Wu Hall at Princeton (1982–84), the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London (1991), the somewhat flamboyant but not overwhelming Seattle Art Museum (1991), the expanded Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1996); and buildings at Princeton (2000), Dartmouth (2000 and 2002), Harvard (2005), and other universities. His largest project, designed with Denise Scott-Brown, his wife and architectural partner, was the Haute-Garonne dept. government complex, Toulouse, France (1999), with a series of offices and many public spaces. Among Venturi's writings are Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966), Learning from Las Vegas (1972, written with Stephen Izenour and Denise Scott-Brown), and A View from the Campidoglio: Selected Essays, 1953–1984 (1984). Venturi was awarded the Pritzker PrizePritzker Prize,
officially The Pritzker Architecture Prize
, award for excellence in architecture, given annually since 1979. Largely modeled on the Nobel Prize, it is the premier architectural award in the United States and is named for the family that founded the
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 in 1991.


See C. Mead, ed., The Architecture of Robert Venturi (1989); S. von Moos, Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates: Buildings and Projects, 1986–1998 (1999).

Venturi, Robert

An American Postmodernist who set up practice with John Rausch (1930– ) and later with wife Denise Scott Brown (1930– ), and later still with Steven Izenour (1930– ). Early work included the Vanna Venturi House, Philadelphia, PA (1963); Franklin Court, Philadelphia, PA (1976); Gordon Wu Hall (illus.), Princeton University, NJ (1983); Seattle Art Museum (illus.), Seattle, WA (1991); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (1996).

Venturi, Robert

(1925–  ) architect, author; born in Philadelphia. A Princeton graduate, he worked for Louis Kahn before establishing (1958) the Philadelphia firm that became Venturi, Rauch, Scott Brown and Associates. As both architect and theorist, Venturi spearheaded the reaction against modernism by embracing historical and popular architectural styles, most famously the common commercial strip. His seminal Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) and Learning from Las Vegas (with his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, 1972) have been as influential as his buildings, including the recent Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London (1991). He won the Pritzker Prize (1991).
References in periodicals archive ?
Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1977), 91.
He sees Kahn's spatial ideas as deeply embedded in postwar architectural culture, invoking Robert Venturi in describing the Motherhouse as a 'difficult whole of specific locales' and making convincing links to Aldo van Eyck's ideas on the need for reciprocity between interior and exterior and advocacy of place over space.
John Unrau makes witty comparison between Ruskin and Robert Venturi, both eager for the 'entertaining' in architecture: finesse would certainly be a differential, though a shared effrontery could have been developed.
Pritzker Prize-winning Philadelphia designer Robert Venturi, for instance, shared his reaction in June with architecture and design students at the University of Applied Sciences in Chur.
Las Vegas, as architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour argued 25 years ago in Learning From Las Vegas, is actually a case study in the lessons of pleasure.
Andy Warhol and Robert Venturi join hands with Saddam in vulgarizing Baghdad and, by implication, in terrorizing the Iraqi populace.
Taken together, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's "Learning from Levittown" studio at Yale in 1970 and their 1976 exhibition "Signs of Life: Symbols in the American City" at the Smithsonian Institution were probably the last reconsiderations of suburbia by architects to match the ambition of the MOMA show.
Yet we both worked for Robert Venturi, who'd worked for him, so we're one link away.
When Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown wrote Learning from Las Vegas in 1972, examining the cultural context of the city as a generator of form, they critiqued mindless Strip development and reinvented the casino as a quasi-public space that spills out and engages the street in an update of the Roman piazza.
The competition was won by Robert Venturi of Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown, with a highly intelligent and thoughtful, slightly mannerist--and perhaps ironic--adaptation of the language of the Wilkins fagade (Fig.