Robert Venturi

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Robert Charles Venturi, Jr. (born June 25, 1925 in Philadelphia) is an American architect, founding principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, and one of the major figures in the architecture of the twentieth century. Together with his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, he helped to shape the way that architects, planners and students experience and think about architecture and the American built environment. Their buildings, planning, theoretical writings and teaching have contributed to the expansion of discourse. Venturi was awarded the Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 1991.[1] He is also known for coining the maxim "Less is a bore" as antidote to Mies van der Rohe's famous modernist dictum "Less is more". Venturi lives in Philadelphia with Denise Scott Brown. They have a son, James Venturi.


Education and teaching

Venturi attended school at the Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania.[2] He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1947 and received his M.F.A. there in 1950. The educational program at Princeton in these years was a key factor in Venturi's development of an approach to architectural theory and design that drew from architectural history in analytical, as opposed to stylistic, terms. [3] 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 1954 to 1965, 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.

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