What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to building names, it can be a lot. While some monikers are fleeting and change with the most recent highest bidder, some names are indelible and leave a lasting mark on the public imagination. Client names, towns, corporations, and streets provide ample naming fodder, but some architects are more strategic. Architects like Peter Eisenman created a numbered series (House I, House II, etc.) , or MOS architects adopt a composer-like generic naming system (House with 10 trees, House with 2 Chimneys). For these architects, the name situates each building within a larger collection of projects. It ensures people will consider each act of building as part of a grand plan. Finally, sometimes, no matter how diligent a marketing team tries, a building will find a nickname it just can’t shake...Gherkin. This video considers all these as it explores how buildings get their names.
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.