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Robert Venturi

Venturi, Robert, 1925–, American architect, b. Philadelphia. In his writings, Venturi inveighed against the banality of modern architecture in the postwar period. He argued instead for a more inclusive, contextual approach to design that heralded the postmodern era in architecture. Among his early large works is Guild House in Philadelphia (1962–66), whose entrance is distinguished by a bold, billboardlike sign. A more restrained historicizing mode has 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), and the expanded Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (1996). Venturi is also an important theorist whose writings include the influential Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966); Learning from Las Vegas (1972), written with Stephen Izenour and Denise Scott-Brown (Venturi's wife and architectural partner); and A View from the Campidoglio: Selected Essays, 1953–1984 (1984). He was awarded the Pritzker Prize 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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