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Lecuture 5

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LECTURE # 5 - Shift of major influences/architects away from Europe into NA at the turn of 19th cent. Monticello (Again) - 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 Richardson. - 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 Richardson. - 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 Richardson. 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
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