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Venturi, Robert (1925–)


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


American architect and author of two influential studies of modern architecture. In the first study, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture ( 1966 ), Venturi finds that many modern architects have come to blindly idealize simplicity, accepting Ludwig M ies van der Rohe's epigrammatic statement about his own work – “less is more” – as a guiding principle of architectural design. Venturi responds to this with his counterepigram – “less is a bore” -arguing instead for a richness and exuberance in architectural expression, like that frequently found in examples of Mannerist, baroque, and Rococo architecture. Venturi also suggests at the conclusion of this study that the vitality of main street and commercial strips could be a source of ideas for architects, as it had been for artists associated with the P op art movement. In his second study, Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form 1972 ( 1977) , written with Denise Brown and Steven Izenour, Venturi examines in detail the landscape of the main street, and particularly of a strip, in Las Vegas, a small C ity which presents an exaggerated picture of urban signage and sprawl. The parking lots and billboards, the service stations and fastfood restaurants, the hotels and casinos of Las Vegas provide an ideal T ext for Venturi to analyze the “messy vitality” that he prefers in the experience ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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