Robert Venturi (1925 – )

  • Robert Venturi, Vanna Venturi House, 1959, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA
  • Venturi & Short, Guild House, 1961, Philadelphia, PA
  • Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown, Gordon Wu Hall, 1983, Princeton, NJ

Born in Philadelphia, educated in a William Price house that was adapted as Episcopal Academy and later a member of G. Holmes Perkins’ University of Pennsylvania faculty that reopened the dialog of American modern, Venturi absorbed the context of a city in which nearly every block of the downtown had a Furness building. In Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) Venturi opened vistas into the broader potential of modern design and praised Furness’ National Bank of the Republic for its “… array of violent pressures within a rigid frame. The half-segmental arch, blocked by the submerged tower which, in turn, bisects the facade into a near duality, and the violent adjacencies of rectangles, squares, lunettes, and diagonals of contrasting sizes, compose a building seemingly held up by the buildings next door: it is an almost insane short story of a castle on a city street.” © George E. Thomas