an architect's lineage

For a while now I have been interested in how architectural ideas and attitudes are formed and passed down from one generation of architect to another.  So I have put together a very rough chart that shows how the two major institutions of Western architectural education, the Ecole des Beaux Arts and mostly European polytechnical architectural schools, have combined and filtered down through many of the twentieth centuries most well-known and accomplished architects.

As you can see this is pretty rough and if anyone has more connections or people to include, let me know and I will see if I can work it in.  The idea here is not to show links of ideas or influences, but actual physical connections – attended, worked for, colleagues in the same office, etc.  The chart runs vaguely chronological, left to right, starting with the first generation of Modernists and proceeding to about 1980 or so on the far right with still much more to add.

Some thoughts:

It is the combination of the two education models that really established Modernism.  The work of Le Corbusier and Louis Sullivan, representing the European Modernism and Chicago School is a comingling of influences.  In the case of Le Corbusier, he worked for architects who come from both traditions, Josef Hoffmann and Auguste Perret.  For Sullivan, he worked for Furness who was educated in the studio of Richard Morris Hunt of Ecole des Beaux Arts lineage.  Sullivan also worked for and with Dankmar Adler and William LeBaron Jenney, both more engineers than architects.

For as much as a champion of small state university architecture schools as I am, I must admit to the central position of Harvard and Yale and the other East Coast architecture schools as focal points in this chart.  Harvard brought in first generation Modernists, Gropius and Breuer and extended the Bauhaus tradition.  Much of Yale’s campus was designed by James Gamble Rogers and Albers and Rudolph’s influence there is unmistakable and profound through students like Foster and Rogers and buildings by Kahn, Rudolph, Saarinen.

Imagine the heady times at the office of Peter Behrens with LeCorbusier, Mies and Gropius all working away.

Or the camaraderie and competition in William LeBaron Jenney’s office between John Wellborn Root, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan and William Holabird and Martin Roche.

More in a later post including the strange lineage of California Modernism (Otto Wagner via Adolf Loos meets Louis Sullivan via Frank Lloyd Wright) and the confluence of Kahn, Piano, Rudolph, Foster and Rogers.

If you have more connections please drop me a note.  I have not yet included the AA in London or the importance and influence of the Texas Rangers (Rowe, Harris, Hoesli, etc. ) and the Institute for Architecture and Urbanism in NYC in the ’60s and ’70s (Eisenman, Frampton, Tafuri, Koolhaas, Vidler, Gandelsonas) and ETH Zurich (Berlage, Calatrava, Herzon & de Meuron, Rossi, Semper, Tschumi).

Part 2  in an upcoming post in about a week.

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