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Robert Venturi

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NEWS
April 30, 1989 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Staff Writer
Behind trees, at the end of a driveway on a quiet lane in Chestnut Hill, stands a small sloped-roof house that has reshaped the skylines of cities around the world. Simple, unassuming and situated in the middle of a bare, flat plot of grass, the sage-colored stucco building hardly jumps out at you. In fact, set well back from the street, it is hardly visible at all. And yet the Vanna Venturi House, completed in 1964 by its proprietor's son, Robert, has had an impact on contemporary architecture akin to that of the Beatles on popular music - that is, big. (One could extend that analogy and say that, like Venturi, the Fab Four took a spare, modern form and collaged it with baroque elements, but one won't . . . well, just a bit.)
NEWS
April 8, 1991 | By Thomas Hine, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi - whose writings and buildings sparked the reintroduction of decoration and historical elements in architecture throughout the world - is winner of the 1991 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the leading international award in its field. Venturi has sought in his buildings and writing to distill the lessons inherent in all sorts of designs - from baroque Rome to Levittown and the Las Vegas strip. He will be given the award, which includes a $100,000 honorarium and a bronze medal based on a design by Louis Sullivan, at a ceremony in Mexico City on May 16. The choice was announced in Los Angeles for release today.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Now that the "Nutter Era" is officially past tense, and Jim Kenney is managing this obstreperous city, we'll be seeing a lot less of Michael Nutter, the person. Yet the architectural additions and deletions that occurred during his tenure will stay with us for a long time. What were its hallmarks? Sadly, this period yielded very little of the kind of architecture that ends up in the history books. That's partly because Nutter took office as the United States was slipping into the Great Recession and developers' best-laid plans were going awry.
NEWS
December 6, 1997 | The Philadelphia Inquirer / BONNIE WELLER
Nancy Antolik, part of the Philadelphia Marriott's pastry team, works on an edible architectural creation. It will be judged Sunday afternoon at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. It's for the museum's free holiday celebration. Judging will be by local celebrities such as Mayor Rendell and architect Robert Venturi. The confections will be on display through Tuesday.
NEWS
April 12, 1991
We've been fans of Robert Venturi ever since he succeeded in taking modern architecture out back and putting a bullet through its head. He did it with just one phrase in his 1966 book, Complexity and Contradiction. Directly contradicting the canonized wisdom of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Mr. Venturi stated that "less is not more; less is a bore. " So naturally we were thrilled to read that Mr. Venturi, who lives in Mount Airy and has his offices in Manayunk, is the 1991 winner of the Pritzker Architectural Prize - the Heisman trophy of architecture.
NEWS
July 23, 1987
Applause is in order for the selection of Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown to build the new home for the Philadelphia Orchestra. It is an occasion for proper parochial pride. The Philadelphia firm started out as one in a field of 120 considered by the selection committee, and survived the successive cuts that eventually brought the number down to six, then three, and finally . . . one. It would be wrong to say that Philadelphia institutions have traditionally tended to favor Philadelphia architects in awarding major commissions such as this one. If anything, the reverse has been true.
NEWS
October 21, 2007 | By Jeff Gammage INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In 1950, a Princeton University student named Robert Venturi devoted his master's thesis to imagining a new chapel for his alma mater, Episcopal Academy. It was a beautiful building, with neutral stone walls highlighted by weathered metal - the modern equivalent of copper gargoyles. "Darn good," said Venturi. Pity it was never built. Now, nearly 60 years later, fate has come full circle: Venturi, a world-renowned architect in Philadelphia, has been chosen to design the chapel at Episcopal's new campus in Newtown Square.
NEWS
August 23, 2001 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Steven Izenour, 61, a respected Philadelphia architect and writer who helped make Venturi Scott Brown & Associates one of the world's most influential firms, died of a heart attack on Tuesday, less than three months after the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrated the architects' careers with a retrospective. Mr. Izenour, who lived in the Powelton Village section of Philadelphia, was on vacation with his family in Vermont when he was stricken, said Jaime Kolker, an associate at the firm.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steven C. Gatschet, 71, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects in the 1990s, died Wednesday, June 20, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center of complications from pancreatic cancer. Since 1996, Mr. Gatschet had been a design architect for the School District of Philadelphia, his wife, Abbie Kinzler, said. And for the last 30 years, she said, he had been an adjunct professor of architecture at Drexel University. From 1965 to 1975, she said, he worked for several Philadelphia architectural firms, including that of Robert Venturi.
NEWS
January 28, 2009 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
There's no sign yet of any commotion at the deceptively humble beach shack that Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi designed almost 40 years ago overlooking the sea at Barnegat Light. An immense black number 9 still flanks the front door, and a whimsical sailboat-shaped window still curves from a side facade. But if ocean winds and human whims cooperate, this much-admired early design by Philadelphia's most important living architect could soon leave its familiar moorings and set sail on an odyssey that will take it up the New Jersey coast, past Manhattan's glittering skyline, under the Brooklyn Bridge, through the treacherous currents of Hell's Gate, and then on to Glen Cove, N.Y. - all in an effort to save the wood-frame shore house from a developer's wrecking ball.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Now that the "Nutter Era" is officially past tense, and Jim Kenney is managing this obstreperous city, we'll be seeing a lot less of Michael Nutter, the person. Yet the architectural additions and deletions that occurred during his tenure will stay with us for a long time. What were its hallmarks? Sadly, this period yielded very little of the kind of architecture that ends up in the history books. That's partly because Nutter took office as the United States was slipping into the Great Recession and developers' best-laid plans were going awry.
NEWS
December 5, 2015 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
This time, Denise Scott Brown's name is on the prize. After decades of being overlooked and even openly scorned by the architecture profession, Philadelphia's best-known female designer was singled out Wednesday by the American Institute of Architects as cowinner of its prestigious Gold Medal, together with her husband and partner, Robert Venturi. An author of the groundbreaking study Learning From Las Vegas , she is the first living woman to win the medal for career achievement since the AIA began handing out the prize in 1907.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Edith Newhall, For The Inquirer
Before his 2005 move to Charlottesville, Va., where he died Monday, Feb. 3, at age 90, University of Pennsylvania professor Thomas P. Hughes was a familiar presence in Chestnut Hill, bicycling to and from the early service at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, or buying crackers and cheese for the intimate gatherings of neighbors and Penn colleagues he hosted at his house on Millman Street. It wasn't just any house. Dr. Hughes' home was that icon of modern architecture known as "Mother's House," designed by Robert Venturi for his mother, Vanna.
NEWS
August 26, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Ben Franklin was a great and fearless tinkerer, but even he might have been reluctant to mess with the Old City architectural icon that honors his life and work. The deceptively modest Franklin Court complex was designed by world-famous Robert Venturi for the 1976 Bicentennial, and it changed the way we think about memorials. No wonder the decision by the National Park Service to alter the garden wall and gut the underground museum produced a flood of protest from architectural scholars.
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Twenty-two years later, the omission still rankles Philadelphia architect Denise Scott Brown. She and her husband, Robert Venturi, designed their projects together. They wrote several paradigm-shifting books together. They taught their influential studio classes together. But when the winner of architecture's most prestigious prize was announced in 1991, it was only Venturi who was honored. Scott Brown, now 82, has never been one to be silent about her treatment by the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, but her pointed remarks last month at a conference in London have touched a nerve as never before.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steven C. Gatschet, 71, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects in the 1990s, died Wednesday, June 20, at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center of complications from pancreatic cancer. Since 1996, Mr. Gatschet had been a design architect for the School District of Philadelphia, his wife, Abbie Kinzler, said. And for the last 30 years, she said, he had been an adjunct professor of architecture at Drexel University. From 1965 to 1975, she said, he worked for several Philadelphia architectural firms, including that of Robert Venturi.
NEWS
June 18, 2010 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Philadelphia architects will have an outsize presence this year at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards, having taken the top prizes in both the architecture and landscape design categories. The museum, which announced the winners yesterday, said that KieranTimberlake architects and landscape architect James Corner will be honored in October at a New York ceremony featuring first lady Michelle Obama. For KieranTimberlake, which has been a pioneer of thoughtful environmental design, the Cooper-Hewitt award is the latest in a string of accolades and high-profile commissions.
NEWS
January 17, 2010 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
They're not the sort of architects you go to when you want just another pretty building. They don't design walk-in sculptures that swirl like ocean waves. A plain skyscraper would bore them to tears. Instead, they dream of making buildings that can go up in weeks instead of months, that are manufactured rather than constructed, that penny-pinch on energy, and that can be tossed into the recycling bin when the world grows tired of them. Meet the Philadelphia Four, a group of rising design firms that see architecture as a weapon in the battle to stave off environmental ruin.
LIVING
August 21, 2009 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
Guild House, the Spring Garden Street apartment house designed by Robert Venturi, has just come through its first major renovation since it opened 43 years ago, and miraculously, no one laid a hand on the original chain-link fence or tried to pep up the color of the balcony railings. True, the owners briefly contemplated upgrading the fence to wrought iron, but the heresy was quickly put down. There was another rocky moment when the painters accidentally swabbed over the "Guild House" sign with a coat of primer.
NEWS
January 28, 2009 | By Inga Saffron INQUIRER ARCHITECTURE CRITIC
There's no sign yet of any commotion at the deceptively humble beach shack that Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi designed almost 40 years ago overlooking the sea at Barnegat Light. An immense black number 9 still flanks the front door, and a whimsical sailboat-shaped window still curves from a side facade. But if ocean winds and human whims cooperate, this much-admired early design by Philadelphia's most important living architect could soon leave its familiar moorings and set sail on an odyssey that will take it up the New Jersey coast, past Manhattan's glittering skyline, under the Brooklyn Bridge, through the treacherous currents of Hell's Gate, and then on to Glen Cove, N.Y. - all in an effort to save the wood-frame shore house from a developer's wrecking ball.
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