Robert Venturi

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Works Allen Art Museum Addition, at Oberlin, Ohio, 1973 to 1976.
Brant House, at Greenwich, Connecticut, 1972.
Brant-Johnson House, at Vail, Colorado, 1977.
Gordon Wu Hall, at Princeton, New Jersey, 1983.
House in Tuckers Town, at Tucker Town, Bermuda, 1975.
Trubek House, at Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, 1972.
Tucker House, at Mount Kisco, New York, 1975.
Vanna Venturi House, at Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1962.
Hôtel du Département de la Haute-Garonne, at Toulouse, France, 2005   Article at ArchitectureWeek

      map of works


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Robert Venturi

(b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1925)

Partner in Venturi, Scott Brown and Asssociates (VSBA) along with Denise Scott Brown.

Robert Venturi was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1925. He attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia and graduated from Princeton University. He worked with Eero Saarinen and Louis I. Kahn before he founded his own practice in 1958. In 1964 he formed a partnership with John Rausch. Three years later, his new wife, Denise Scott Brown, joined the partnership.

Although Venturi has designed many buildings, his theories have created more impact. Based on the philosophy of 'complexity and contradiction', he has re-assessed architecture to stress the importance of multiple meanings in appreciating design.

In contrast to many modernists, Venturi uses a form of symbolically decorated architecture based on precedents. He believes that structure and decoration should remain separate entities and that decoration should reflect the culture in which it exists. In contradiction, Venturi also considers symbolism unnecessary since modern technology and historical symbolism rarely harmonize.

Although Venturi considers himself a architect of Western classical tradition, he claims that architectural rules have changed. He rejects a populist label, but in Learning from Las Vegas he shifted from an intellectual critique of Modernism in terms of complexity to an ironic acceptance of the "kitsch of high capitalism" as a form of vernacular. His theories have generated the populist aesthetic of the recent Post-Modernism.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p158.


Recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, 1991.
AIA Firm Award, 1985.

Resources Sources on Robert Venturi

"Talking Sheds", by Denise Scott Brown, ArchitectureWeek No. 234, 2005.0406, pD1-1.

"VSBA Exhibition", by Diane M. Fiske, ArchitectureWeek No. 56, 2001.0627, pN1-1.

Robert Venturi. Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. Museum of Modern Art, October 1990. Paperback Second edition. ISBN 08109-60230.   Available at

Robert Venturi. Iconography and Electronics upon a Generic Architecture : A View from the Drafting Room. MIT Press, April 1998. ISBN 02627-20299.   Available at   Find books about Robert Venturi

Search the RIBA architecture library catalog for more references on Robert Venturi

Web Resources Links on Robert Venturi

Venturi, Scott Brown and AssociatesThe firm's official web site.

Robert Venturi Pritzker PrizeSeveral pages of good background information, at the Pritzker Prize site.

Robert Venturi at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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