a look at some of the more interesting aspects of the connections between architects as outlined in last week’s post.
I am certainly no scholar, so please take this as a more distanced view than any rigorous academic pursuit would reveal.
Although not strictly associated with Penn, there is a kind of Philadelphia School of architecture that moves from Furness through George Howe and Louis Kahn to Robert Venturi. This is one of the most important confluences of the two major education traditions of the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the European modernist polytechnical schools. In the end, despite the ostentatiously high-tech and even futuristic forms, the structural expression seen in the work of Foster and Piano and Rogers owes as much or more to the more plastic and sculptural training of the Ecole as filtered down through Howe and Kahn rather than the materialistic and technical influences of the polytech schools.
On another note, a look at the New York Five – Eisenman, Graves, Meier, Hejduk and Gwarthmey – shows the influence of Gropius and Breuer at Harvard (Meier did not attend Harvard but worked for Breuer) more than anything else. Their Modern revisionism came more from outside of the paths of Mies and LeCorbusier than their forms might suggest.
And a final note on this kind of lineage is the fascinating case of California Modernism. Rudolf Schindler, educated by both Loos and Wright, blends the tradition of European Modernism with the Chicago School via Wright. Schindler and Neutra, both working, and at a time living together, generated an amazing body of work, reconciling the abstractions of Modernism with the California climate and landscape. Their legacy, in the Case Study Houses and through Harwell Hamilton Harris in the gathering of the Texas Rangers, echoes through every school of architecture in the States for the next 50 years. And in the photos of Julius Shulman, their work influences every architect in their generation and next.