|Birth Day:||June 25, 1925|
|Birth Place:||Philadelphia, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1947 and obtained his M.F.A. in 1950. He spent two years in Europe after winning the American Academy in Rome's Rome Prize Fellowship in 1954.
Venturi was born in Philadelphia to Robert Venturi Sr. and Vanna (née Luizi) Venturi and was raised as a Quaker. Venturi attended school at the Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1947 where he was a member-elect of Phi Beta Kappa and won the D'Amato Prize in Architecture. He received his M.F.A. from Princeton in 1950. The educational program at Princeton under Professor Jean Labatut, who offered provocative design studios within a Beaux-Arts pedagogical framework, was a key factor in Venturi's development of an approach to architectural theory and design that drew from architectural history and commercial architecture in analytical, as opposed to stylistic, terms. In 1951 he briefly worked under Eero Saarinen in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and later for Louis Kahn in Philadelphia. He was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in 1954, where he studied and toured Europe for two years.
From 1959 to 1967, Venturi held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as Kahn's teaching assistant, an instructor, and later, as associate professor. It was there, in 1960, that he met fellow faculty member, architect and planner Denise Scott Brown. Venturi taught later at the Yale School of Architecture and was a visiting lecturer with Scott Brown in 2003 at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.
Venturi created the firm Venturi and Short with William Short in 1960. In his architectural design Venturi was influenced by early masters such as Michelangelo and Palladio, and modern masters including Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn and Eero Saarinen. After John Rauch replaced Short as partner in 1964, the firm's name changed to Venturi and Rauch. Venturi married Denise Scott Brown on July 23, 1967, in Santa Monica, California, and in 1969, Scott Brown joined the firm as partner in charge of planning. In 1980, The firm's name became Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown, and after Rauch's resignation in 1989, Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates. The firm, based in Manayunk, Philadelphia, was awarded the Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects in 1985. The practice's recent work includes many commissions from academic institutions, including campus planning and university buildings, and civic buildings in London, Toulouse, and Japan.
A controversial critic of the blithely functionalist and symbolically vacuous architecture of corporate modernism during the 1950s, Venturi was one of the first architects to question some of the premises of the Modern Movement. He published his "gentle manifesto", Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in 1966; in its introduction, Vincent Scully called it "probably the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier's Vers Une Architecture of 1923." The work was derived from course lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, and Venturi received a grant from the Graham Foundation in 1965 to aid in its completion. The book demonstrated, through countless examples, an approach to understanding architectural composition and complexity, and the resulting richness and interest. Citing vernacular as well as high-style sources, Venturi drew new lessons from the buildings of architects familiar (Michelangelo, Alvar Aalto) and then-forgotten (Frank Furness, Edwin Lutyens). He made a case for "the difficult whole" rather than the diagrammatic forms popular at the time, and included examples — both built and unrealized — of his own work to demonstrate the possible application of such techniques. The book has been published in 18 languages to date.
Immediately hailed as a theorist and designer with radical ideas, Venturi went to teach a series of studios at the Yale School of Architecture in the mid-1960s. The most famous of these was a studio in 1968 in which Venturi and Scott Brown, together with Steven Izenour, led a team of students to document and analyze the Las Vegas Strip, perhaps the least likely subject for a serious research project imaginable. In 1972, Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour published the folio, A Significance for A&P Parking Lots, or Learning from Las Vegas. It was revised using the student work as a foil for new theory, and reissued in 1977 as Learning from Las Vegas: the Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. This second manifesto was an even more stinging rebuke to orthodox modernism and elite architectural tastes. The book coined the terms "Duck" and "Decorated Shed," descriptions of the two predominant ways of embodying iconography in buildings. The work of Venturi, Scott Brown, and John Rauch adopted the latter strategy, producing formally simple "decorated sheds" with rich, complex, and often shocking ornamental flourishes. Venturi and his wife co-wrote several more books at the end of the century, but these two have so far proved to be the most influential.
Venturi died on September 18, 2018, in Philadelphia from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.
Robert married Denise in 1967; she became a member of his firm in 1969, holding the position of partner in charge of planning. Robert's parents raised him as a Quaker.
Currently, Robert Venturi is 97 years, 5 months and 11 days old. Robert Venturi will celebrate 98th birthday on a Sunday 25th of June 2023. Below we countdown to Robert Venturi upcoming birthday.
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