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Robert Venturi

Robert Charles Venturi, Jr. (born June 25, 1925 in Philadelphia) is an American architect and founding principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. Robert Venturi and his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, are regarded among the most influential architects of the twentieth century, both through their architecture and planning, and theoretical writings and teaching. Venturi was awarded the Pritzker Prize in Architecture in 1991. 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.

Venturi attended school at the Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania. He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1947 and received his M.F.A. there in 1950. 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.

Venturi created the firm Venturi and Short with William Short in 1960. John Rauch replaced Short as partner in 1964, changing the name to Venturi and Rauch. Venturi and Denise Scott Brown were married on July 23, 1967 in Santa Monica, California, and Scott Brown joined the firm as partner in charge of planning in 1969. The firm became known as Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown in 1980, and, finally, after Rauch’s resignation in 1989, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. The firm, based in Philadelphia, was awarded the Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects in 1985. Recent work has included many commissions from academic institutions, including campus planning and university buildings, and civic buildings in London, Toulouse and Japan.

Venturi is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the American Institute of Architects and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Other Information

  • Name : Robert Charles Venturi, Jr.
    Nationality : American
    Birth date : June 25, 1925
    Birth place : Philadelphia
    Education : Graduated summa cum laude, Princeton University (1947)
    Firm : Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.

Notable Projects

  • Episcopal Academy Chapel; Newtown Square, Pennsylvania (2008)
  • Dumbarton Oaks Library, Harvard University; Washington, D.C. (2005)
  • Undergraduate Science Building, Life Sciences Institute and Palmer Commons complex, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan (2005)
  • Biomedical Biological Science Research Building (BBSRB), University of Kentucky; Lexington, Kentucky (2005)
  • Baker/Berry Library, Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire (2002)
  • Frist Campus Center, Princeton University; New Jersey (2000)
  • Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College; Hanover, New Hampshire (2000)
  • Perelman Quadrangle, University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia (2000)
  • Provincial Capitol Building; Toulouse, France (1999)
  • Gonda (Goldschmied) Neurosciences and Genetics Research Center, UCLA; Los Angeles, California (1998)
  • Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri Resort; Nikko National Park, Japan (1997)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; San Diego, California (1996)
  • Charles P. Stevenson, Jr. Library, Bard College; Annondale-on-Hudson, New York (1994)
  • Children’s Museum; Houston, Texas (1992)
  • Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Medical Research Laboratories, UCLA; Los Angeles, California (1991)
  • Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery, London; United Kingdom (1991)
  • Seattle Art Museum; Seattle, Washington (1991)
  • Restoration of the Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia (1991)
  • House in East Hampton, Long Island, New York (1990)
  • Lewis Thomas Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey (1986)
  • Gordon Wu Hall; Princeton University, New Jersey (1983)
  • House in New Castle, Delaware (1983)
  • Coxe-Hayden House and Studio; Block Island, Rhode Island (1981)
  • Best Products Catalog Showroom; Langhorne, Pennsylvania (1978)
  • Allen Memorial Art Museum modern addition, Oberlin College; Oberlin, Ohio (1976)
  • BASCO Showroom; Philadelphia (1976)
  • Franklin Court; Philadelphia (1976)
  • Dixwell Fire Station, New Haven, CT (1974)
  • Brant House; Greenwich, Connecticut (1972)
  • Trubek and Wislocki Houses; Nantucket, Massachusetts (1971)
  • Fire Station #4; Columbus, Indiana (1968)
  • Vanna Venturi House; Philadelphia (1964)
  • Guild House; Philadelphia (1964)
  • Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, interior renovation (The James B. Duke House); New York (1958)

Awards and Recognitions

  • Design Mind Award, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards (2007)
  • Vincent J. Scully Prize, National Building Museum (2002)
  • Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, Republique Francaise, Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication (2000)
  • National Medal of Arts (1992)
  • Pritzker Prize (1991)
  • Elected, National Academy of Arts and Letters (1990)
  • AIA Twenty-Five Year Award (1989)
  • Commendatore of the Order of Merit (1986)
  • AIA Architecture Firm Award (1985)
  • AIA Medal for Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1978)
  • Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (1978)
  • Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome (1956)


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