Tag Archives: Classical Architecture

New Video: Palladio as Paradigm for Education and Practice Today

Learn more about architectural education in this lecture delivered at the University of Notre Dame’s conference: From Vernacular to Classical: The Perpetual Modernity of Palladio, June 10-12, 2011.

Closing Remarks, Three Generations of Classical Architects: The Renewal of Modern Architecture, University of Notre Dame School of Architecture (2005)

I am charged with offering concluding remarks and answering the questions of what the future holds and what challenges we face to meet that future. Before I do, I would like to thank our hosts and offer a special thanks to Michael Lykoudis for his vision for this conference. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank those people who have been so critical to the path of my own career – Bill Westfall, Thomas Gordon Smith, Rodney Cook, Richard John and my dear friends at the Institute.

Now, what challenges do we face and how do we meet them? Well, to consider this, I am first going to take my gloves off for a moment and succumb to what I would call realism, or what Michael Lykoudis has called pessimism, and then I will put my gloves back on and, hopefully, conclude on a polite, optimistic note.

Three Generations of Classical Architects conference speakers, panelists, and attendees, University of Notre Dame (2005)

Three Generations of Classical Architects conference speakers, panelists, and attendees, University of Notre Dame (2005)

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Windsor Forum on Design Education: The Classical Model

From April 12-14, 2002 architects, urbanists, and educators gathered at the town of Windsor in Florida to discuss an ideal curriculum for architectural education which would address the crisis in architecture and urbanism. Among many distinguished speakers, I was invited to present the programs and philosophy of the Institute of Classical Architecture (today’s ICAA). Here below are my remarks as published in the Windsor Forum on Design Education: Toward an Ideal Curriculum to Reform Architectural Education, edited by Peter Hetzel and Dhiru Thadani (Miami: New Urban Press, 2004).

Christine G. H. Franck demonstrating rendering techniques during ICAA Summer Program

Christine G. H. Franck demonstrating rendering techniques during ICAA Summer Program

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Christine G. H. Franck, Inc. and Hull Homes Win ICAA John Staub Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Houston, TX – September 12, 2011 – The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Texas Chapter has awarded the Byrd Residence a 2011 John Staub Honor Award in Restoration and/or Renovation.  Fort Worth homebuilder and master-craftsman Brent Hull of The Brent Hull Companies collaborated with Virginia-based design firm Christine G. H. Franck, Inc. to restore this historic home to its original charm.

Front_elevation_-_after

Byrd Residence AFTER renovations.

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Greek Revival Style

The Greek Revival style, at its height from 1820 to 1840 in America, parallels a period of geographic expansion and growing national identity.  Part fashion, part conscious aesthetic, the Greek Revival, or Grecian, style is defined by the adaptation of ancient Greek forms of architecture and decorative motifs to new uses.  Publications such as James “Athenian” Stuart’s and Nicholas Revett’s Antiquities of Athensthe first accurate survey of Greek architecture ever undertaken—originally published in four volumes from 1762 through 1816, sparked a fashion for the Grecian style first in Europe and then in America.  In America, though, it was more than fashion. It was political.  As a young country emerging from the shadow of our British colonial past, we sought new paradigms and found parallels in the Greek War for Independence of 1821-1828, during which time, after nearly four hundred years of Turkish rule, Greeks fought their own revolution. Viewing ourselves as inheritors of the Greek democratic tradition forging a new democratic state, seeing parallels with another people fighting for their own freedom, we imagined ourselves as a new Athens. Our classically educated politicians and landowners were also familiar with the myths and history of Greece and the classical world.

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American Federal Style

After emerging independent and free from the colonial yoke of Great Britain, post-revolutionary America began to form its national identity. Whether inspired by the works of Seneca or the life of Cincinnatus, early leaders like George Washington understood this nation to be the inheritor of Roman republican traditions. They sought to imbue America’s Novus Ordo Seclorum with symbols and architecture evocative of this.  Concurrently, a growing class of merchants and landowners desired ways to show their taste and wealth.  This confluence of interests in symbolic meaning and fashionable forms flowered into America’s Federal Style.

Federal

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American Georgian Style

American Georgian

In the early days of America’s founding, along the eastern seaboard, English colonists built robustly beautiful homes that are today often referred to as Colonial. However, Georgian, or more descriptively American Georgian, better describes these houses and distinguishes them from earlier colonial traditions of our English, Dutch, Spanish, and French colonists. The term Georgian refers to the period of British history encompassing the reigns of Kings George I through IV (1714-1830).  American Georgian architecture is most prevalent prior to and just after our revolution, after which other stylistic influences drawn from discoveries at Pompeii and Herculaneum captivated popular taste.

Palladio as Paradigm for Education and Practice Today

Lecture delivered at the University of Notre Dame’s conference: From Vernacular to Classical: The Perpetual Modernity of Palladio, June 10-12, 2011

Dean Lykoudis, faculty, alumni, students, and colleagues it is a pleasure to be back at Notre Dame for this remarkable conference and exhibition. I offer my sincere thanks to the School of Architecture and Lucien for organizing the conference, to Lucien and Ali for their thoughtful and thought-provoking New Palladians, to the RIBA for their inspirational exhibit celebrating 500 years of Palladio, to Calder Loth for his inimitable contributions to Palladio’s Transatlantic journey, and last to my fellow Institute of Classical Architecture & Art trustee, Anne Kriken Mann, for ensuring that the Palladio made it to America.

Reflecting upon the conference theme of the “Perpetual Modernity of Palladio,” I began to question Palladio’s value today. What lessons can Palladio teach us?

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Colonial Revival Style

With population expanding, immigrants arriving, rapid industrialization, and urbanization, it is little wonder that late-19th century Americans viewed their simpler colonial past as a Golden Age. Emerging wearily from Reconstruction, Americans patriotically celebrated their past and future at Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exhibition.  The “New England Farmer’s Home and Modern Kitchen” was a particularly popular exhibit.   Inside this log cabin, women in colonial dress exhibited artifacts such as a Pilgrim’s cradle and spinning wheel, idealizing an America heroically hewn out of New England by hard-working colonists.

Colonial Revival Style house
Colonial Revival
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Houses of the French Colonial Tradition

Of all American colonial building traditions, that of the French is one of the richest. While the houses of French Colonists owe a debt to their native traditions, they also wisely responded to the materials and climatic conditions found in America. From St. Genevieve, Missouri (1735) to New Orleans, Louisiana (1718) and beyond, French colonists created a diverse tradition including the Creole and Acadian Cottages, and the classic French Colonial house of the raised cottage type.

French Colonial

French Colonial

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