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Robert Venturi
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    (June 25, 1925-September 18, 2018)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Postmodern architect
    Notable designs include the Vanna Venturi House in Philadelphia (1964), the Guild House in Philadelphia (1964), Franklin Court in Philadelphia (1976), Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC (1980), Gordon Wu Hall at Princeton University (1983), the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London (1991), the Seattle Art Museum (1991), the Children’s Museum in Houston (1991), the First Campus Center at Princeton (2000) and the Baker Memorial Library at Dartmouth College (2002)
    Wrote ‘Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ (1966) and ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ (1972)
    Received the Pritzker Prize (1991) and the National Medal of the Arts (1992)
    He disliked the ‘postmodern’ label, preferring to be called a ‘mannerist.’
    He stuck to a carefully plotted schedule, with his wife noting, ‘Bob can tolerate complexity and contradiction and ambiguity in architecture but not in his personal life.’
    He had a fondness for billboards, neon signs and other structures usually considered unsightly or garish.
    He was described as speaking ‘in a mumbly academese.’
    He considered declining the Pritzker Prize to protest his wife and collaborator, Denise Scott Brown, not being honored with him, but decided ‘We needed the money.’
    He was married to Denise Scott Brown for 51 years.
    ’Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture’ was called ‘the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier’s ‘Towards a New Architecture.’’
    He responded to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s modernist motto ‘Less is more’ with ‘Less is a bore.’
    His Vanna Venturi House received the American Institute of Architecture’s Twenty-Five Year Award as ‘a design of enduring significance that has withstood the test of time’ (1989) and was featured in a set of US stamps celebrating ‘Masterworks of Modern American Architecture.’ (2005)

Credit: C. Fishel

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