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French "Utopian" Architect Claude Parent Dies Aged 93

12:00 - 29 February, 2016
French "Utopian" Architect Claude Parent Dies Aged 93, Claude Parent. Image © Emmanuel Goulet
Claude Parent. Image © Emmanuel Goulet

Claude Parent, a celebrated French architect and Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, died on the evening of the 27th February 2016, the day after his 93rd birthday. Born in 1923 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Parent was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and, throughout his career, developed a limited but extremely influential body of built work ranging from nuclear power stations to shockingly unconventional shopping centers, such as his project in Sens. Described as both a utopian and a 'supermodernist' in his own lifetime, the methodology he shaped has played a significant role for his peers of all generations and for contemporary artists and thinkers including Jean Nouvel, who began his professional life as a collaborator.

British Architect Jonathan Woolf Dies Aged 54

04:10 - 8 September, 2015
British Architect Jonathan Woolf Dies Aged 54, Painted House / Jonathan Woolf architects with Bharat Patel. Image © Helene Binet
Painted House / Jonathan Woolf architects with Bharat Patel. Image © Helene Binet

According to the Architects' Journal Jonathan Woolf, "the much-respected architect and academic" born and based in London, has died aged 54. His practice, Jonathan Woolf Architects, was established in 1990 and has completed more than thirty-five projects in Europe and Africa. Woolf was also a prolific educator, having taught at the British universities of Bath, Kingston (from which he received an honorary doctorate earlier this year), the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, and the Architectural Association.

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

04:00 - 3 April, 2015
The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic, Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett
Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

Michael Graves Dies at 80

16:24 - 12 March, 2015
Michael Graves Dies at 80, © Michael Graves & Associates
© Michael Graves & Associates

Michael Graves died Thursday at the age of 80. Famous for his bold, symbolic references to classical architecture and his use of geometry, Graves is also known as one of the New York Five. His work bridged the abstraction of Modernism and the Postmodernism of the current era.

“No one has made a bigger impact on the world of architecture, certainly from Mercer County, than Michael Graves," Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said. "Some people think architects are just people who draw up buildings. They are artists in themselves, and Michael was clearly an artist. He will be greatly missed by the Mercer County community."

A statement from his practice and an interview with Graves, after the break.

Jon Jerde, California Architect Known for Reinventing the Shopping Center, Dies at 75

00:00 - 10 February, 2015
Jon Jerde, California Architect Known for Reinventing the Shopping Center, Dies at 75, Universal CityWalk. Image © Casey Sayre
Universal CityWalk. Image © Casey Sayre

Jon Jerde, FAIA, founder of The Jerde Partnership, has died at 75. The California-based American architect has left his mark in more than 100 urban places worldwide, many of which embody Jerde’s signature ideas of the multi-level mall. Placing high priority on outdoor walking and gathering areas, Jerde’s reimagining of the shopping mall experience in the 1970s put him on the map. "He blew open the shopping mall and transformed it into a lively urban environment which attracts people, lots of people," Richard Weinstein, the former dean of UCLA's school architecture and urban planning, once said.

Ricardo Porro, Architect of Cuba’s National Art Schools, Dies at 89

00:00 - 30 December, 2014
Ricardo Porro, Architect of Cuba’s National Art Schools, Dies at 89, School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com
School of Ballet by Vittorio Garatti . Image © Adrián Guerra Rey via places.designobserver.com

Ricardo Porro, the leading architect behind Cuba’s National Art Schools - one of the largest architectural achievements of the Cuban Revolution - has died of heart failure in Paris at the age of 89. After spending nearly a half a century in exile, Porro lived long enough to see his two arts schools reemerged on the world stage as “crown jewels of modern Cuban architecture.” 

KPF President Paul Katz Dies at 57

00:00 - 25 November, 2014
KPF President Paul Katz Dies at 57, International Commerce Centre / KPF. Image © KPF
International Commerce Centre / KPF. Image © KPF

Paul Katz, president and managing principal of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), has died at the age of 57. The “mastermind” behind some of the world’s tallest mixed-use buildings, such as the Shanghai World Financial Center and International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, Katz was praised by colleagues for his attention to detail and ability to foresee a building’s impact on the larger urban scale. “For Paul, it was the entire assemblage, not triumphant individual pieces, that gave the project its urban value,” said KPF design director James von Klemperer, who will succeed Katz as president.

Judith Edelman, A “Firebrand for Women in Architecture, Dies at 91

00:00 - 20 October, 2014
Judith Edelman, A “Firebrand for Women in Architecture, Dies at 91, New Settlement Community Campus; NYC (2012) / Dattner Architects and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood
New Settlement Community Campus; NYC (2012) / Dattner Architects and Edelman Sultan Knox Wood

Judith Edelman, FAIA, an American architect and feminist who hoped to rid architecture of its “gentleman’s club” status, has passed away at 91. Starting her career in an era when hiring “girls” wasn’t the norm, Edelman’s work to elevate women in architecture has paved the way for many of today’s leading architects; She was the first woman ever elected to the executive committee of the AIA’s New York chapter and she helped co-found the Alliance of Women in Architecture in 1972. Edelman’s built work, also highly admired, ranged from affordable housing to schools and health clinics, mostly in the New York City area. You can read Edelman’s obituary here

Influential Scottish Architect Andy MacMillan Dies Aged 85

00:00 - 18 August, 2014
Influential Scottish Architect Andy MacMillan Dies Aged 85, © RIAS
© RIAS

Professor Andy MacMillan, one of Scotland's most important post-war architects, died suddenly this weekend during this year’s Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Andrew Doolan Awards visits. Macmillan was a professor at the Glasgow School of Art from 1973 to 1994, and a partner at Gillespie, Kidd & Coia in 1966. More on MacMillan's legacy after the break.

Robert Hull, Co-Founder of the Miller Hull Partnership, Dies at 68

00:00 - 10 April, 2014
Robert Hull, Co-Founder of the Miller Hull Partnership, Dies at 68, The Bullitt Center, the World’s Greenest Commercial Building. Image Courtesy of The Miller Hull Partnership
The Bullitt Center, the World’s Greenest Commercial Building. Image Courtesy of The Miller Hull Partnership

U.S. architect Robert Hull, FAIA, has passed away at 68 due to a stroke. Always to remembered by his peers as a “beloved colleague,” the Seattle-based practitioner, together with his business partner David Miller, was a national leader of sustainable design and architecture in the Pacific Northwest. You can review some of Hull’s work here and read The Miller Hull Partnership’s official obituary, after the break. 

Mexican Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez Dies at 94

00:00 - 19 April, 2013
Mexican Architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez Dies at 94

Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, one of the most important Mexican architects of the 20th century, died yesterday on his 94th birthday in Mexico City. Ramírez headed the construction of many of Mexico's modernist landmarks including several museums, the nation's largest sports stadium and a shrine that attracts the most pilgrimages in the country.

Read more on Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and his architectural legacy after the break.

Remembering Paolo Soleri 1919-2013

00:00 - 9 April, 2013
Remembering Paolo Soleri 1919-2013, Paolo Soleri, detail, Mesa City Market (Arts and Crafts), 1961. Pencil, Charcoal, pastel on paper. Collection of the Cosanti Foundation. © Paolo Soleri. Photo: Cosanti Foundation/Soleri Archives/David DeGomez
Paolo Soleri, detail, Mesa City Market (Arts and Crafts), 1961. Pencil, Charcoal, pastel on paper. Collection of the Cosanti Foundation. © Paolo Soleri. Photo: Cosanti Foundation/Soleri Archives/David DeGomez

Today the world has lost one of its great minds. Paolo Soleri, architect, builder, artist, writer, theorist, husband, father, born on Summer Solstice, June 21, 1919, has died at age 93.

Paolo Soleri spent a lifetime investigating how architecture, specifically the architecture of the city, could support the countless possibilities of human aspiration. The urban project he founded, Arcosanti, 65 miles north of Phoenix, was described by NEWSWEEK magazine as “…the most important urban experiment undertaken in our lifetimes.”

His own lifetime of work is represented in models, drawings, books, lectures and museum exhibits throughout the world. Soleri’s exhibition in 1970 at the Corcoran Museum in Washington DC – and the concurrent publication of his landmark book, CITY IN THE IMAGE OF MAN – changed forever the global conversation about urban planning on our living planet. His term, “Arcology” joining the words architecture and ecology to represent one whole system of understanding human life on the earth is meant to serve as the basis for that conversation.

More on the life of Paolo Soleri after the break...

Yokio Futagawa, Influential Architectural Photographer and Publisher, Dies at 80

00:00 - 12 March, 2013
Yokio Futagawa, Influential Architectural Photographer and Publisher, Dies at 80 , MINKA 1955: Japanese Traditional Houses
MINKA 1955: Japanese Traditional Houses

Japanese architectural photographer and editor Yokio Futagawa (1932-2013) lost his battle to cancer on March 5 at the age of 80 in Tokyo, Japan. Futagawa was best known as the founder of the distinguished Global Architecture (GA) Publishing Group, which he established in 1970, and director of Global Architecture (GA) magazine. Throughout his 60-year-long career, Futagawa photographed modernist works from some of the world’s most famous architects and presented them in elegant magazine and book series. Two of his most important works include a ten-volume collection of "Japanese Traditional Houses" in the 1950s and a lavish twelve-volume collection that illustrates the complete works of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Architectural Photographer Balthazar Korab dies at 86

00:00 - 18 January, 2013
USAFA Cadet Chapel / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill © Balthazar Korab
USAFA Cadet Chapel / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill © Balthazar Korab

On January 15, 2013, illustrious architect and photographer Balthazar Korab (1926-2013) lost his prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although he managed to keep a low profile throughout most of his life, Korab was one of the most prolific and celebrated architectural photographers of midcentury modernism. 

Pioneering architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable has died at 91

19:35 - 7 January, 2013
A portrait of architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable in 1986. Via the WSJ
A portrait of architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable in 1986. Via the WSJ

Ada Louise Huxtable (1921-2013), known as “the dean of American architectural criticism”, has passed away at the age of 91 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Huxtable began her legendary career when she was appointed as The New York Times’ first architecture critic in 1963. Her sharp mind and straightforward critiques paved the way for contemporary architectural journalism and called for public attention to the significance of architecture.

Italian architect Gae Aulenti dies at 84

19:00 - 1 November, 2012
© Ernesto Ruscio / Getty Images Europe via Zimbio
© Ernesto Ruscio / Getty Images Europe via Zimbio

Architect, designer and theoretician Gae Aulenti (1927-2012) died late Wednesday night in her Milan home at the age of 84. The Palazzolo della Stella native will always be remembered as being one of the few well recognized women that worked in Italian postwar design. Throughout her career, Aulenti’s multi-faceted talent contributed greatly to the evolution of art, architecture and design.

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