TagModern Philadelphia

LEARNING TO SEE: REVISITING DENISE SCOTT BROWN’S WORK AND IDEAS

With AIA National President Peter Exley and Carolina Vaccaro, Scholar and Curator
Thursday, April 22, at 4:00 p.m.
Free and open to all via this Zoom link:
https://temple.zoom.us/j/95425410506

This is the third talk in SAH Philadelphia’s The Elusive Philadelphia School; The Many Guises of Philadelphia’s Modernism lecture series. Keep your eye on our website for future talks in this series www.philachaptersah.org

“Denise Scott Brown: ‘Learning to See’” will be on exhibit at Temple Contemporary from May 20 through September 19, 2021.

Denise Scott Brown is regarded as among the most influential architects of the twentieth century; through her architecture, planning, theoretical writing and mentorship she and her late partner, Robert Venturi are credited with changing the course of American Architecture.

One of the guiding principles underlying this new trajectory is a non-judgmental way of looking at and responding as designers to the everyday built environment. This “Learning From . . .” approach is vividly conveyed in the photography of Denise Scott Brown.

The photos on display document Scott Brown’s travels, inspirations and interests through the lens—from the rural vernacular of South Africa to the beauty and banality of European cities, to the significance of pop culture in the American built environment, like the Las Vegas Strip, through its gas stations, billboards, roadside stores, signs, advertisements and more. (https://www.archdaily.com/959625/learning-to-see-denise-scott-brown)

In advance of the show’s opening, SAH Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Tyler Department of Architecture is pleased to bring together two prominent architect/scholars in their own right, who learned from, and were profoundly influenced by, their formative experiences with Venturi Scott Brown and their associates.

Peter Exley, FAIA, AIA President, co-founder of the Chicago based firm architectureisfun: Peter Exley has established an internationally-recognized, award winning practice of architecture for children, families and communities elevating the standards of design for learning and play environments. He worked at Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates in the late 1980’s.

Carolina Vaccaro is an architect and scholar based in Rome, Italy, and has published multiple works around this topic. Vaccaro worked at the office of Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates in the 1980s. She is the scientific curator and designer of the “Denise Scott Brown: ‘Learning to See’” exhibition at Tyler Contemporary.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be a lively and revealing discussion.

The photography of Denise Scott Brown has been featured in a variety of shows and publications, including:

Aperture
(https://aperture.org/editorial/denise-scott-brown-las-vegas/

Graham Foundation
http://www.grahamfoundation.org/public_exhibitions/3878-las-vegas-studio-images-from-the-archives-of-robert-venturi-and-denise-scott-brown

Carriage Trade, N.Y.
https://carriagetrade.org/Denise-Scott-Brown-Photographs

Arch Record / Venice Biennale
http://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/11824-view-master-the-world-as-seen-by-denise-scott-brown

A BOLD VENTURE FOR HEALTH: KLING’S LANKENAU HOSPITAL AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF COMMUNITY

by Kevin Block, PhD
Thursday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Free, no registration required
Online via Zoom, see below for access information

Lankenau Hospital was, perhaps, the most modern community hospital in America when it opened near the beginning of suburban Philadlephia’s prestigious Main Line in December of 1953. Wowed by its Atomic Age medical technology and focus on preventive health, the local press hailed Lankenau as an entirely “new kind of hospital.” The editors of Architectural Record and Progressive Architecture, meanwhile, awarded Kling’s design national honors for transcending the merely functional requirements of a healthcare facility. To them, Lankenau was “real architecture.” Edmund Bacon, Philadelphia’s famous master planner, was so impressed by Kling’s model for Lankenau that after seeing it he invited Kling to work with him on Center City’s urban renewal. Lankenau was thus the beginning of Kling’s transformation from a young hospital architect into the owner of what would become Philadelphia’s most prominent corporate architecture firm.

While historians tend to think of corporate architecture as placeless practice and overlook the importance of regional firms in the evolution of what is now a global design industry, Lankenau was a complicated, elite-directed exercise in middle-class community building, one that projected an image of scientifically administered healthcare in order to manage the process of postwar suburbanization. Central to this image was the architect himself. Kling not only served as a designer, but he also appeared as a glamorous “new man” in fundraising and promotional material that aimed to excite Philadelphia’s upper class. In reading the design of Lankenau alongside the use of Kling’s persona in Lankenau’s “A Bold Venture for Health” fundraising campaign, this presentation will attempt to complicate the prevailing theory of corporate architecture as placeless practice with a locally-informed case study in the architecture of community development.

Kevin Block is an architectural historian and preservationist who received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught courses in architectural history and American Studies at Berkeley and, most recently, at Princeton. His research focuses on the history of American architecture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially the development of architecture as a profession. This presentation is part of a book-length project about Vincent Kling and the figure of the corporate architect. He writes a newsletter about this project entitled “The Architect as Doer” (https://tinyletter.com/kpb/archive). He was born in Lankenau Hospital.”

This is the second talk in The Elusive Philadelphia School; The Many Guises of Philadelphia’s Modernism lecture series. Keep your eye on our website for future talks in this series www.philachaptersah.org”

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ALFRED PANEPINTO: MODERNIST?

by Alfred Willis, PhD, Consultant/Researcher in Architectural History
Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Free, no registration required.
Online via Zoom, see below for access information.

For over fifty years Alfred Panepinto (1907-94 ) pursued a career in greater Philadelphia after completing his architectural education at Harvard University in 1931. His long-term employment by Sun Oil Co., beginning in 1934, laid the foundation for his success. A notable feature of his career was his frequent service to clients noted for a commitment to conservative politics, notably J. Howard Pew of Sun Oil.

In the 1950s and 1960s Panepinto built a significant number of structures for academic institutions, including Grove City College and the PMC Colleges (later Widener University) in Pennsylvania and Hampton Institute (now University) in Virginia. Examination of those and several other of Panepinto’s contemporary buildings sheds light on the compositional strategies the architect employed to achieve effects that were unequivocally Modern yet appealing to clients opposed to the progressivism often associated with mid-20th-centruy Modernism. This light permits a new assessment of the so-called retreat from Modernism ca. 1960 as well as of the precocious Postmodernism of the Philadelphia School.

Alfred Willis is an architectural historian and preservationist who received his doctorate in Art History from Columbia University, his Master in Library Science from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in architecture from Clemson University. He has been on the architecture faculty at Hampton University and Kent State University.

Dr. Willis is the editor of SAH Archipedia: South Carolina. As a prolific scholar, he authored over eleven publications and over 30 papers and presentations. Since his recent retirement he has served as a preservation consultant preparing National Register Nominations and landmark designations.

This is the first talk in our The Elusive Philadelphia School; The Many Guises of Philadelphia’s Modernism lecture series. Our next in the series will be on March 25, “A Bold Venture for Health: Kling’s Lankenau Hospital and the Architecture of Community”

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Real Philadelphia: Selections from the Robert M. Skaler Postcard Collection

Join us for a special tour with Bruce Laverty, Curator of Architecture

Monday, December 4th at 6:00 p.m.
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
219 S. 6th Street
Free, but registration required. Please email us at info@philachaptersah.org

More than 250 examples of “real photo postcards” are on display from the a popular and wide-spread type that were produced by professional and amateur photographers alike between 1904 and 1918. These extraordinary images depict Philadelphia at the zenith of its industrial prosperity. Of particular note are the scores of pictures of children who played on the streets of the ever-growing row-house neighborhoods of the Workshop of the World.

Bob Skaler began collecting postcard views of Philadelphia in the 1960s at flea markets, yard sales and antique shops. His collection has appeared in the several books he has written for Arcadia Publishing including Society Hill and Old City, West Philadelphia and Philadelphia’s Broad Street. He felt The Athenaeum would be the best repository for his collection of 1,899 postcards making them available to historians and researchers.

The exhibit is free and runs through January 26, 2018.

Vanna Venturi House for Sale

Vanna Venturi house 002

Robert Venturi’s groundbreaking design for his mother is one of the most influential buildings of the latter half of the 20th century. Named one of the “10 Buildings That Changed America” and widely considered the first post-modern building in the United States, to say it is notable among architects is an understatement. Many world-renowned building designers and critics have made pilgrimages to this residence hidden in the heart of Chestnut Hill.

For more visit http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/8330-Millman-St_Philadelphia_PA_19118_M49270-07860?row=1

Vinyl, Plexiglas & Neon: Venturi, Scott Brown’s Transformation of St. Francis de Sales – a revealing history & conversation

2015-05-07 St Francis 03 bw

Thursday, May 7, 2015 @ 6:00 p.m.
Auditorium of St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church
4625 Springfield Ave., University City, Philadelphia
Free and open to the public.  No registration required.

In 1969, the Church of St. Francis de Sales – a landmark church in the Byzantine Revival style (Henry Dagit; 1907-08) – reopened after alterations that addressed changes to the Catholic Mass. Comprising elements built of vinyl, Plexiglas, and neon, the design by Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown was radical, controversial, and removed within a year by the parish. Now, after over 45 years, join us for a revealing conversation and tour about the project’s conception, execution, and the firestorm that ensued.

Landscape architect, Sue Weiler, will provide an introductory tour of the architecture of St. Francis de Sales, including its magnificent Guastavino dome; William Whitaker, curator of the Venturi, Scott Brown Collection at Penn’s Architectural Archives, will talk about the VSB design and the architecture of the period; and Father John McNamee, parish priest at the time of the change, will recall his role as pastor and client during a time of social change.

SAVE THE DATE FOR PHILA SAH SPRING PROGRAMS

The next Phila Chapter SAH program will be on the evening of Thursday, May 7.  A tour of the Church of Saint Francis de Sales at 46th & Springfield Avenue with a discussion of the controversial “neon halo” and other renovations designed by Venturi Scott Brown.  Chapter President Bill Whitaker is putting the finishing touches on the details which will be sent to Chapter members as soon as possible.

Also mark Thursday, June 11, on your calendar for a program at an amazing Victorian house, Oakbourne, in Westtown Twp, Chester County.  We’ll have a reception followed by a talk on the home’s architect T. Roney Williamson.  Details and registration information will be sent to Chapter members in early May.

Amazing Mid Century Modern Home For Sale

2015-04-08 Irv Stein 1958 Wallingford PA home

This wonderful 1958 mid century modern home, designed by architect and Philadelphia SAH member Irwin Stein, is for sale by the current owners who are looking for a buyer who will treasure it as much as they do. They are hosting an Open House on Sunday, April 12 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at 2 South Providence Road, Wallingford, PA.

Almost all of the original details are intact.  The 2600 square foot house has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths and one half bath.  The attached 600 square foot office has four rooms and a powder room.  It can easily be converted to an apartment.

The home is situated on .75 acres of land, has two patios and in another week the yard will be filled with over 1,000 daffodils.  The interior boasts soaring ceilings, redwood paneling, tile and hardwood floors, ample natural light, two wood burning fireplaces, cove lighting and a gorgeous open staircase.  The home has been featured on the cover of Atomic Ranch Magazine, on houzz.com and apartmenttherapy.com and was voted one of Philly’s “Amazing Spaces” in Philadelphia Magazine.

For more info visit http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2-S-Providence-Rd-Wallingford-PA-19086/92240976_zpid/