September 19, 2018

Robert Venturi Dies at 93

“Less is a bore” according to architect Robert Venturi, who passed away on September 18, 2018.

Robert Venturi, the acclaimed architectural theorist, author, and Pritzker Prize winner, has passed away at the age of 93, according to a statement from his family. Venturi left an indelible mark on the field of architecture with the seminal books Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture and Learning from Las Vegas (co-authored by his esteemed wife Denise Scott Brown), which helped usher in the Postmodernist movement. Together they founded Venturi Scott Brown Associates (now known as VSBA), which further refined and popularized the Postmodern style. Several of the movement’s most important buildings, such as the Guild House and Vanna Venturi House, can be credited to Venturi. He retired from the firm in 2012 after five decades of pioneering work.

In addition to receiving the 1991 Pritzker Prize, Venturi served as an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Rome Prize Fellowship winner. Along with Scott Brown, he was inducted into Interior Design’s Hall of Fame in 1992. 

Venturi is survived by Scott Brown and his son, Jim Venturi. 

Below is an excerpt from Interior Design’s coverage of Venturi and Scott Brown’s Hall of Fame induction

Because of his willingness to accept popular styles and his unorthodox manipulations of scale and ornament, Mr. Venturi is often cited as a father of postmodernism. His work, however, has always been characterized more by thoughtfulness and depth than by hollow stylist pastiche: while others were tarting up their projects with faux neoclassical dunce caps, Mr. Venturi continues to make buildings with grace and wit, artistry and economy.

The Vanna Venturi house, completed in 1964, is largely regarded as the first Postmodernist structure. Photography by Matt Wargo, courtesy of Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, Inc.

One of Venturi’s memorable works, Chapel at the Episcopal Academy near Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. 

Recent DesignWire