Published: Friday, October 19, 2007
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Words from the company
Since 1964, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates has helped to shape the course of contemporary architecture and planning. From innovation in contextual design to the use of symbolism and iconography, VSBA's work has helped to expand our concepts of what architecture can be.
Robert Venturi's Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture issued a controversial call to explore history, "the messy vitality" of the built environment, and urban complexities. The debate continued with Learning from Las Vegas, written with Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, which embraced a strange new landscape of cars, casinos, billboards, and Pop Art. These widely read and influential volumes have been joined most recently by Venturi and Scott Brown's Architecture as Signs and Systems for a Mannerist Time.
But VSBA has offered considerably more than just theory. Since the landmark Vanna Venturi House, the firm's completed projects have spanned a tremendous diversity, from museums to urban plans, from residences to the decorative arts. They've created the notorious Sainsbury Wing of London's National Gallery, designed a provincial capitol building in Toulouse, France, conducted campus planning for Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, designed the Mielparque Nikko Kirifuri Hotel and Spa in Japan, completed several designs for the Walt Disney Company, and created the Seattle Art Museum.
Academic planning and design has also become one of their specialties. From libraries, labs, classrooms, campus centers, and residences to master plans, they gently craft each project to have its own unique identity -- an identity derived from careful consideration of the context and the client's philosophy, needs, and traditions. VSBA has transformed campuses with major new building complexes and adapted sensitive historic buildings for evolving uses.
The firm's work has been recognized with more than 140 major design awards, including 9 National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and 16 from local and state AIA chapters. They've also received the AIA's highest corporate honor, the Architectural Firm Award, for "having so profoundly influenced the direction of Modern architecture."
And today VSBA is busy offering exciting, alternative approaches to planning and design. Their staff is currently made up of five principals, several senior associates, and an energetic staff of young designers. Working together as a collective, VSBA continue to pioneer innovative architecture -- sometimes controversial, but always sensitive, thoughtful, playful, and humane.
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