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



"The futuristic house must be like a giant machine. The elevator should no longer hide itself like a tapeworm in the shaft of the stairwell. The now superfluous stairs must disappear and the lifts should rise like snakes of iron and glass." This declaration in the 1914 manifesto "L'archittetura futurista" was a clear renouncement of artificial disguise of any kind. Antonio Sant'Elia wrote that "the decorative value of futuristic architecture depends solely on the use and imaginative application of the raw, naked or gaudy material." Technology as the vehicle of Utopia supplied the building blocks of a new machine aesthetic which was at once a source of hope and an ideal. Engineering, with its concern to reduce constructive elements and simplify calculations, takes the opposite stance. Common to both is their definition of the house as a technically-organized artefact.

Actual progress was the domain of the practitioners. During World War II engineer Max Mengeringhausen had already developed a system allowing the rapid assembly of lightweight spatial trussed structures with the aid of standardized joints and bars. Its modular concept - distinguished by the reuseability of its industrially-produced parts - was being employed in scaffolding, temporary bridges, pylons and cranes soon after the War. This MERO system, as it was abbreviated, celebrated its first large success at the 1957 Interbau exhibition in Berlin. Under the title "City of Tomorrow", a luminous hall introduced the new system in an architectural form designed by the architect Karl Otto.

Simple constructions from MERO components employ standardized rod elements, their lengths in a ratio of 1,414, thus permitting the formation of squares with reinforcing diagonals. With computer-assisted calculations, however, even complex, non-cubic forms remain economical, despite the numerous specia variations required. The results are particularly lightweight constructions - to a certain degree, bicycles in the third dimension.

A second variation of this lightweight building principle uses membrane and hanging constructions which can span large areas with minimal costs. For Frei Otto, diatoms, spiders' webs and soap bubbles served as perfect examples of optimized spatial structures, for Nature always achieves her ends with the most economical means. Thus the equalization facilitated through their flowing skin enables soap bubbles of even the smallest surface area to achieve uniform membrane tension. The application of these characteristics to large buildings is not without its problems. Natural constructs actually only function statistically, in that a majority in the total number of creations ensures the survival of the species despite constant destruction. In 1914 Antonio Sant'Elia had even declared this - albeit in aesthetic terms - his programme: "Houses will be shorter-lived than we. Each generation will have to build its own city."

Although Frei Otto's "mushrooms", "moths" and "four-point tents" of highly-sophisticated textile webs received much praise, they were not considered Architecture. There was no air of eternity about them. Even the roof of the Olympic Stadium in Munich was to be covered with heavy concrete slabs. The further development of membrane constructions was sooner possible in temporary buildings, such as those for the Bundesgartenschau exhibitions and, later, for Expo
'67 in Montreal. A cable-net construction was substituted for the older style of self-supporting membrane skin which was simply hung below the net. At the same time, the symmetrical basic arrangement of the earlier tents was replaced by a free combination of high and low points. Thus, for the first time, a "roofscape" was created which, in its creatior of seemingly arbitrary forms from simple and lucid basic patterns, in fact follows Nature's own methods of construction. The basic tenor of Frei Otto's work is the peaceful appropriation of the world, and thus, his sensitive filigree works spread a sense of optimism. "Architecture is suspected future", as he said in 1976.

Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers' Centre Pompidou in Paris demonstrated that the train of progress was actually heading in another direction. The architectural design of the technical elements is given particular emphasis in this gigantic, muscle-flexing cultural machine. Utopia becomes concretum. Helmut John's State of Illinois Center similarly sits in the Chicago Loop like an object from outer space. Its form results from the overlapping of a sphere with a cube developed from the site square. Upon entering the building, its impression changes entirely: a cylinder is punched out of the main form and projects as an obliquely-cut positive element from the level roof. The offices converge via peripheral galleries into this spectacular inner hall, whose contours are confused by the strong colours of the exposed steel construction and the alternation of clear and reflecting glass. The complete opening of the inner space to the atrium underlines the democratic philosophy of the administrative bodies it houses, but must also - from the point of view of the employees - occasion a sense of unease. The use of the stairways - hung free in the spacious interior - is something, in the upper floors at least, for those who are not afraid of heights. In such forms of self-portrayal by public institutions and industrial companies, the attraction of a Modernism qua Modernism, as it appears in such technical displays, entered the service of affirmative strategies.

Thus the Renault company considered the publicity value of its English distribution centre in Swindon to be so high that it was the only plant used in advertizing. Even the otherwise compulsory mounting of the Renault emblem was foregone. Both Rogers and Norman Foster developed their technical building machines into increasingly monumentalized forms. Their offices produced such sensational and massively-publicized wonders as the new Lloyd's building in London and the headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in Hong Kong. These are basically simple, rectilinear forms which are accentuated through central halls and technical entrails fed to the exterior. The exposed construction is deployed like a style element, though naturally considered no such thing in the mind of the architect. The ambivalence of construction and style continues in the interior: although the overly-slender halls may resemble Gothic churches, any such further reference, anyway unintended, is undermined by the numerous horizontal floor levels. The comparison is nevertheless still argued by many critics. But if they are cathedrals, then they are cathedrals of capitalism, as Gert Kahler wrote in 'he magazine "Werk, Bauen
+ Wohnen": "No one builds for society anymore, but for a client, and this is precisely what their programmes express." Here lies the decisive difference to the Constructivism of the twenties. Social Utopia is r
eplaced by corporate image.

The "most beautiful bank in the world" was to be built in Hong Kong; certainly it was the most expensive. According to the client himself, it cost five billion Hong Kong dollars, or 750 million euros. The bank wanted a symbol of the "fertility of the company", in other words of their power, and at all events a statement of optimism in view of the approaching end of the British administration of Hong Kong in 1997. Norman Foster addressed very concrete problems: the lighting of the large atrium by sunlight, the flexibility of the plan, the expandability of the surface area, the full opening of the ground floor and the access to the spaces for public use via escalators. Even the smallest details were embraced within the overall plan, including covers for the air conditioning vents, taps and toilet-paper holders. What distinguishes Foster are his pleasing moments, ingratiatingly-rounded corners and perfect surfaces. But in the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the scale of the constructive elements at times proves overpowering compared to the - rather lost-looking - workplaces below. The structures of the surfaces can easily turn into endless grids, whereby a conscious awareness of the themes of prefabrication, of the controlled world of industry, is transferred into everyday life.

On the other hand, in the buildings of Gustav Peichl, and in recent works by Ove Arup and Santiago Calatrava, technical constructions are given a more human face. In the interplay of humour and carefully-considered form, they arrive at harmonious solutions which carry the awareness that technology should serve humankind. Despite functional arrangements, they use gentle hints in design to convey a meaning which goes far beyond the building itself. Even if their plans were not based on the ships, pagodas and glass palaces of the nineteenth century, the associations they nevertheless provoke lends them a charm which can turn even an encounter with a sewage treatment plant into an experience.



Frei Otto.


Frei Paul Otto

Frei Paul Otto (31 May 1925) is a German architect and structural engineer.

Otto was born in Siegmar (since 1950 a part of Chemnitz). He studied architecture in Berlin before being drafted into the Luftwaffe as a fighter pilot in the last years of World War II. It is said that he was interned in a French POW camp and, with his aviation engineering training and lack of material and an urgent need for housing, began experimenting with tents for shelter. After the war he studied briefly in the United States and visited Erich Mendelsohn, Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, and Frank Lloyd Wright. He began private practice in Germany in 1952. His saddle-shaped cable-net music pavilion at the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Garden Exposition) in Kassel brought him his first significant attention. He earned a doctorate about tensioned constructions in 1954.

Otto is the world's leading authority on lightweight tensile and membrane structures, and has pioneered advances in structural mathematics and civil engineering. Otto's career bears a similarity to Buckminster Fuller's architectural experiments: both taught at Washington University in St. Louis in the late 1950s, both were architects of major pavilions at the Montreal Expo of 1967, both were concerned with space frames and structural efficiency, and both experimented with inflatable buildings. The work of both men go far beyond traditional methods of calculating structural stresses. His designs are regarded to have been heavily influenced by Australian architect Barry Patten, and his most famous design, the Myer Music Bowl (1959) in Melbourne.

Otto founded the famous Institute for Lightweight Structures at the University of Stuttgart in 1964 and headed the institute till his retirement as university professor. Major works include the West German Pavilion at the Montreal Expo in 1967 and the roof of the 1972 Munich Olympic Arena, inspired by Vladimir Shukhov's architecture.

The International Architecture Symposium "Mensch und Raum" (Man and Space) at the Vienna University of Technology (Technische Universität Wien) in 1984 received in international attention. Otto participated, among others: Justus Dahinden, Dennis Sharp, Bruno Zevi, Jorge Glusberg, Otto Kapfinger, Paolo Soleri, Pierre Vago, Ernst Gisel, Ionel Schein.

Otto is still active as an architect and engineer. One of his more recent projects was his work with Shigeru Ban on the Japanese Pavilion at Expo 2000 with a roof structure made entirely of paper.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Frei Otto.
German Pavillon of Expo 67 in Monreal, 1965-1967

Frei Otto.
German Pavillon of Expo 67 in Monreal, 1965-1967

Frei Otto.
German Pavillon of Expo 67 in Monreal, 1965-1967.
Membrane pattern

Frei Otto.
The Munich 72 Olympic Games.

The roof tensile structures by Frei Otto of the Olympiapark, Munich. 1972 Munich Olympic Stadium.
Partial view of The Olympiapark (a view down of the Olympiaturm to the Olympic Stadium,
on the right: Olympia Halle, left: Schwimmhalle ).




In contrast to the centralized authority proclaimed by the Seagram Building, Late Modernist corporate architecture may be seen as a reflection of today's global economy, in which the major companies are based on rapid technological advances and dispersed in far-flung smaller units. The Austrian Radio and Television studios designed by Gustav Peichl (born
1928) in 1970 have sharply contrasting wings radiating out from a central core to suggest their different functions (fig. 1209).

The core itself has been conceived as a witty parody of spaceships, while the astonishing interior (fig.
1210) looks like a futuristic movie set. Everything gleams with polished metal tubing clustered like the pipes of a rocket, which "blasts off" above the skylight. This space-age motif is continued on the rear of the auditorium, which sports exhaust pipes that curiously resemble the artillery of an aircraft carrier, as if to protect its flanks from some imaginary attack.

1209. GUSTAV PEICHL. Austrian Radio and Television Studio, Salzburg, 1970-72

1210. Interior, Austrian Radio and Television Studio, Salzburg



Gustav Peichl (born March 18, 1928 in Vienna, Austria) is an Austrian architect.
Gustav built the EFA Radio Satellite Station in Aflenz Austria.


Gustav Peichl.
Regional Studio for Austrion State Radio (ORF) in Eisenstadt, Austria, 1980-1982

View of the Eisenstadt Studio

Gustav Peichl.
Regional Studio for Austrion State Radio (ORF)
in Eisenstadt, Austria, 1980-1982

Gustav Peichl. Phosphate Elimination Plant in Berlin, 1979-1985




Among the freshest, as well as most controversial, results of Late Modernism is the Centre Georges Pompidou, the national arts and cultural center in Paris, which rejects the formal beauty of the International Style without abandoning its functionalism (fig.
1211). Selected in an international competition, the design by the Anglo-Italian team of Richard Rogers (born 1933) and Renzo Piano (born 1937) looks like the Bauhaus (fig. 1182) turned inside-out. The architects have eliminated any trace of Le Corbusier's elegant facades (fig. 1186), exposing the building's inner mechanics while disguising the underlying structure.

The interior itself has no fixed walls, so that temporary dividers can be arranged to meet any need. This stark utilitarianism expresses a populist sentiment current in France. Yet it is enlivened by eyecatching colors, each keyed to a different function. The festive display is as vivacious and imaginative as Leger's The City (fig.
1069), which, with Paris' Eiffel Tower (fig. 979), can be regarded as the Pompidou Center's true ancestor.

1211. RICHARD ROGERS and RENZO ĐIANÎ. Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris. 1971-77

Centre National d'Art et Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris. 1971-77

View of the rear


Richard Rogers

Richard Rogers, original name in full Richard George Rogers, (from 1996) Lord Rogers of Riverside (born July 23, 1933, Florence, Italy), Italian-born British architect noted for what he described as “celebrating the components of the structure.” His high-tech approach is most evident in the Centre Georges Pompidou (1971–77) in Paris, which he designed with the Italian architect Renzo Piano.

Rogers studied at the Architectural Association in London (1954–59) and Yale University (1961–62). He returned to London to open a partnership with his then wife, Su Brumwell, along with another married couple, Wendy Cheesman and Norman Foster, in a firm called Team 4 (1963–66). From 1970–77 he practiced with Renzo Piano, and together they planned the landmark Centre Georges Pompidou. This exposed-steel structure was a controversial tour de force of high-tech design, with a dramatic skeletal exterior clad with tube-encased elevators and brightly coloured ductwork. In 1977 Rogers created the Richard Rogers Partnership, a firm featuring some of the designers who worked on the Pompidou. He gained more international attention for his spectacular Lloyds of London skyscraper (1978–86), a highly polished mechanistic tower in which a rectangular core surrounds a central atrium. The rectangular component is in turn surrounded by towers containing elements such as restrooms, elevators, and kitchens, which allow easy access for repairs or for making any future modernizations of the building’s service functions.

The Pompidou and Lloyds commissions gained Rogers worldwide attention and led to other commissions, including the European Court of Human Rights (1989–95) in Strasbourg, France; the Channel 4 Television Headquarters (1991–94) in London; 88 Wood Street (1994–99), an office development in London; and the Daimler Chrysler building (1993–99) in the revitalized Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. Rogers’s work reached its greatest audience when he designed the Millennium Dome (1996–99) in Greenwich, England. This massive Teflon-roofed structure housed a variety of exhibition pavilions that were individually executed by noted British designers. While the dome received a great deal of negative press because of low attendance numbers and problems with financial planning, the structure itself was a striking and quickly built solution to the challenge of constructing an enormous world’s fair-like enterprise under one roof. Among Rogers’s later works is Terminal 4 (2005) at Madrid Barajas International Airport; the structure, which earned the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize in 2006, features an undulating roof and is noted for its use of light.

Rogers received a number of awards, including the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture in 2000 and the Pritzker Prize in 2007. In 1995 he became the first architect to deliver the annual BBC Reith Lectures, a series of radio talks; these were later published as Cities for a Small Planet (1997). Rogers was knighted in 1991 and was made a life peer in 1996.






Renzo Piano

Renzo Piano, (born Sept. 14, 1937, Genoa, Italy), Italian architect best known for his high-tech public spaces, particularly his design (with Richard Rogers) for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Born into a family of builders, Piano graduated from the Polytechnic in Milan in 1964. He worked with a variety of architects, including his father, until he established a partnership with Rogers from 1970 to 1977. Their high-tech design for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1971–77), made to look like an “urban machine,” immediately gained the attention of the international architectural community. Colourful airducts and elevators positioned on the building’s exoskeleton created a vivid aesthetic impression, and the structure’s playfulness challenged staid, institutional ideas of what a museum should be. From a functional standpoint, the position of service elements such as elevators on the exterior allowed an open, flexible plan in the building’s interior. While many complained that it did not fit the context of the historic neighbourhood, the Pompidou nonetheless helped bring about the revitalization of the area when it became an internationally renowned landmark.

Piano’s interest in technology and modern solutions to architectural problems was evident in all his designs, although he often took greater account of the structure’s context. His design for the Menil Collection museum (1982–86; with Richard Fitzgerald) in Houston, Texas, utilized ferroconcrete leaves in the roof, which served as both a heat source and a form of protection against ultraviolet light. At the same time, the building’s low scale and continuous veranda are in keeping with the mostly residential structures nearby. In his San Nicola Soccer Stadium (1987–90) in Bari, Italy, Piano used reinforced concrete petals supported by elegant pillars. The beauty and grace of the design reflect architectural traditions of the region; at the same time, by keeping the fans of opposing teams separate and creating an open plan that made all areas visible, the design discouraged the riots and violence that sometimes attended soccer events. His other important commissions include the Kansai International Airport Terminal (1988–94) in Ōsaka, Japan, the Auditorium Parco della Musica (1994–2002) in Rome, and the Beyeler Foundation Museum (1992–97) in Basel, Switz. One of his most celebrated 21st-century projects, notable for its green architecture, was a new building for the California Academy of Sciences (completed 2008) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Piano also worked on urban revitalization plans, including the conversion of a massive historic Fiat factory in Turin (1983–2003) into the city’s trade fair and convention centre district and the master plan for the revitalized Potsdamer Platz in Berlin (1992–2000). He has received numerous awards and prizes, including the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture (1995), the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1998), and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (2008).





Pompidou Centre, French Centre Pompidou, in full Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou (“Georges Pompidou National Art and Cultural Centre”), French national cultural centre on the Rue Beaubourg and on the fringes of the historic Marais section of Paris; a regional branch is located in Metz. It is named after the French president Georges Pompidou, under whose administration the museum was commissioned.

The Pompidou Centre was formally opened on January 31, 1977, by the French president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. Its overpowering industrial-looking exterior, which dwarfs its surroundings, attracted notoriety for its brightly coloured exterior pipes, ducts, and other exposed services. The architects were Renzo Piano of Italy and Richard Rogers of Britain. The Pompidou Centre quickly became a popular attraction and was reckoned to be the most frequently visited cultural monument in the world.

Primarily a museum and centre for the visual arts of the 20th century, the Pompidou Centre houses many separate services and activities. Its museum of modern art brought under one roof several public collections of modern art previously housed in a number of other Paris galleries. There are also frequent temporary exhibitions devoted to modern themes. In addition there is a large public library, a centre for industrial design, a film museum, and an important musical centre associated with the French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, known as the Centre for Musical and Acoustical Research (Ircam). The music centre comprises rehearsal rooms, studios, and a concert hall and presents concerts devoted primarily to modern music.

The Pompidou Centre—Metz, an outpost of the centre, opened in May 2010. The avant-garde building, designed by Ban Shigeru of Japan and Jean de Gastines of France, is situated in a park and features an undulating roof of woven timbre that was inspired by a Chinese bamboo hat. The Metz’s collection is devoted to modern art and includes works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Joan Miró.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Richard Rogers & Partners.
Lloyd's Building in London, 1979-1986

Richard Rogers & Partners.
Lloyd's Building in London, 1979-1986

Renzo Piano.
Building Workshop Jean-Marie-Tjibaou Cultural Center in Noumea, New Caledonia, 1991-1998




Rogers helped to bring Late Modernism to a head in a series of buildings around London that inspired the wrath of Prince Charles. We can see why in the Hongkong Bank, designed by Norman Foster (born
1935), one of Rogers' former associates (figs. 1212 and 1213). It testifies to the bank's desire to have the most beautiful building in the world. (It is certainly the most expensive that money can buy.) Everything about the structure is extreme. The huge scale represents the megalomania of today's corporations and the architects who work for them. The edifice was intended quite consciously as a cathedral of banking. Like a Gothic cathedral, the reinforcing members of this capitalist "church" are located on the exterior in the form of bizarre struts (compare fig. 448).

The cavernous interior, with its elaborately articulated structural skeleton, may likewise be compared to that of a Gothic cathedral (see fig. 470), although the immediate antecedents of the vast atrium lie in the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Hongkong Bank has been hailed as a brilliant architectural feat, and condemned as a monstrosity that offers a nightmarish vision of the future. In any event, there can be little doubt that both the principles and the vocabulary of the International Style have been abandoned. One may consider the building to be an example of Late Modernism or Post-Modernism with equal justification. Whatever we choose to call it, we have clearly reached the end of High Modernist architecture.

1212. FOSTER ASSOCIATES. Hongkong Bank, Hong Kong. 1979-86

. Interior. Hongkong Bank, Hong Kong


Plan of Level 30.


Lord Norman Foster

Lord Norman Foster, in full Lord Norman Foster of Thames Bank, original name in full Norman Robert Foster (born June 1, 1935, Manchester, England), prominent British architect known for his sleek, modern buildings made of steel and glass.

Foster was trained at the University of Manchester (1956–61) in England and Yale University (1961–62) in New Haven, Connecticut. Beginning in 1963 he worked in partnership with Richard and Su Rogers and his wife, Wendy Foster, in a firm called Team 4. In 1967 he established his own firm called Foster Associates (later Foster + Partners). Foster’s earliest works explored the idea of a technologically advanced “shed,” meaning a structure surrounded by a lightweight shell or envelope.

Foster’s first buildings to receive international acclaim were the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts (1974–78) in Norwich, England, a vast, airy corrugated metal shed, and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation headquarters in Hong Kong (1979–86), a futuristic steel-and-glass office building with a stepped profile of three towers. In these commissions, he established himself as one of the world’s leaders in high-tech design: for both buildings he had ingeniously moved elements such as elevators to the exterior of the building, where they could be easily serviced, and thus created open plans in the centre of the spaces. Balancing out this high-tech character, many of Foster’s buildings, including his Hong Kong office and the Commerzbank (1991–97) in Frankfurt, utilized green spaces, or mini-atria, and were designed to allow a maximum amount of natural light into the offices. In this way, Foster created a more fluid relationship between inside and outside spaces and strove to impart a sense of humanity into an otherwise futuristic office environment.

Foster, a veteran of the Royal Air Force (1953–55) and an avid pilot, also applied his preference for open plans and natural lighting to airports such as Stansted (1981–91) outside London and Chek Lap Kok (1992–98) in Hong Kong and to the expressively simple American Air Museum (1987–97) at Duxford (England) airfield. At the turn of the 21st century, Foster extended his ideas to world landmarks. He rebuilt the Reichstag (1992–99) in Berlin after the reunification of Germany, adding a new steel-and-glass dome that surrounds a spiral observation platform, and he encased the court of the British Museum (1994–2000) in London under a steel-and-glass roof, creating an enclosed urban square within this famous museum building. His noteworthy buildings of the 21st century include the courtyard enclosure for the Smithsonian Institution’s Patent Office Building in Washington, D.C. (2004–07), Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport (2003–08), and London’s City Hall (1999–2002).

The recipient of numerous awards for his work—including the Pritzker Prize (1999), the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for architecture (2002), and the Aga Khan Award (2007) for his design of the Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia—Foster was knighted in 1990 and granted a life peerage in 1999.



Foster  Associates.
Renault Sales Headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire, England, 1980-1982

Renault Sales Headquarters in Swindon. Isometric drawing


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