LECTURE # 5
- Shift of major inﬂuences/architects away from Europe into NA at the turn of 19th cent.
- Very early on, Jefferson attempted to determine what the American style would be. Turn to Roman architecture for Neoclassicism.
- Connection: Roman republic’ political system is of the same nature as the American one.
A New Style
- Richardson, Sullivan: two architects in the latter part of 19th cent. had made major contributions to the development of American style
- Try to make sth entirely different, not follow the past examples like what Jefferson did
Henry Hobson Richards
- From US and went to the Ecole des Beaux Arts, 2nd after Hunt. No architecture schools in America at the end of 19th cent.
- Beaux Arts
- A powerful cultural entity that trained architects to be skilled in their craft.
- Establishing a universal architectural language; perceived as the aesthetic that all architects would follow at the time.
- Try to attain the highest embodiment of the classical orders, looking at Ancient, Renaissance and 17th century France (as a continuation of Renaissance).
- Underlying similarity between competing Beaux Arts style: training was focused on clarity, very logical, well-thought out planning of buildings
- The type of architecture that was coming out of the Ecole hit a high point in America in 1893.
The World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893.
- A number of American architects designed the exhibition buildings, turned away from the Crystal Palace or Galarie des Machines like architecture.
- Used a consistent type of architecture throughout the ground: style (appearance, massing), cornice lines, ﬁnished to appear as stone, Beaux Arts classical details
- Criticism: this exposition set American architecture back 30 years.
- Prior to 1893, American have already started to advance further in terms of modern architecture and using the technology.
- Some architects feel that going back and creating a whole exhibition ground using classicism was actually moving backwards.
Henry Hobson Richardson.
- Trained in Beaux Arts. Credited with being the ﬁrst to create an American style of architecture - sth so distinct that you wouldn’t ﬁnd in other countries
- Known for a style that borrows from the Romanesque, medieval style architecture, prior to the Gothic, with features such as heavy, rounded arches, sth he had seen
during his travel in Europe
- Not doing a Romanesque revival building. Introduced his own distinct qualities - so much that the style took on his name “Richardsonian Romanesque”.
- First America architect who had a presence outside of the country. Much admired, many architects started to emulated his architecture.
- Richardsonian Romanesque has become a stylistic category, not just describing his architecture. Refers to buildings that incorporated certain stylistic qualities.
Trinity Church, Boston, 1872-1874
- Romanesque Qualities
- 1) Squat towers with conical roofs; 2) Round arched windows; 3) Grouping of windows; 4) Various forms in apses
Compare with Abbey of Cluny III, 1088 - 1130: a famous Romanesque building.
- Show fusion of Romanesque and his own quality
- Not imitating the Romanesque the way the Neo-classicism architects were imitating the Classical ideals, but taking it and adapting it in his personal way
- Some of these characteristics he borrowed in all his architecture:
- Use of a heavy masonry, stone. Heavily rusticated building, real sense of roughness in masonry blocks
- Round arches repeated in numerous ways, entrance, grouped windows, etc
- The asymmetry to the buildings, rarely a strict plan. The asymmetry deals with the buildings functions. As he was trained at Beaux Arts, he would start
with the plan of a building, ﬁgure out the programme and design in a rational way.
- Details comes out of the polychromatic effect of using different coloured stones. Create a visually stimulating building, through his interest in exploiting materiality.
E.g., string course around the building that is deﬁned by using a slightly different coloured stone, detailing around the windows, etc.
- This church is what he established his career.
Woburn Public Library, Woburn, Massachusetts, 1876-1879
Crane Memorial Library, Quincy, Massachusetts, 1880-1882
- Both example show his interest in the use of stone.
- Exploited heaviness of stone (i.e., exploit the geology of the natural material.): building seem to be grounded on the earth, rising from it, a real sense of solidity.
- Emphasis on materiality and texture in materiality
- Polychromatic technique: create interest on the buildings and to deﬁne elements such as the grouped windows
- Very heavy, rounded arches sat on a very low spring point, appeared to be hammered into the ground.
Compared to Abbey of Fontenay, Cloister, 1139 - 1147
- The motif of Squat clustered columns comes from the medieval period Romanesque architecture.
- Fused the distinct style with his learning from Beaux Arts on how to design a multi-functional building
- Compared to the Boston Public library.
- His buildings are compact and has a very sculptural quality.
- Bring sculptural quality into architecture in a way that is different from Renaissance revival’s way of having sculptures around the windows.
Allegheny County Court House, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1883-1888
Old City Hall Hall build by, Toronto, 1889 - 1899
Edward James Lenox.
- Inﬂuenced Canadian architects. City hall incorporated many architectural characteristics of Richarsonian Romanesque
Marshall Field Wholesale building, Chicago, 1885-1887
Richardson. - Bulky, substantial like his other buildings; but different in its seven-story height.
- Buildings started to go up, contrast with the compact, massiveness of the churches he made.
- Building requires for a greater height to provide more space -> lead to a need for a new approach for dealing with tall building aesthetically
- Iron framework: some of the supporting columns are iron. Heavy maso