Denise Scott Brown, Car View on the Strip - Palazzo Mora - by Denise Scott BrownTime Space Existence - Biennale Architettura 2016
Discover the work of one of the most influential architects in the 20th Century
Denise Scott Brown is an American architect, planner, writer and educator, and is principal of her firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA) in Philadelphia, USA. Along with her husband Robert Venturi, she is regarded as among the most influential architects of the 20th century, both through her architecture and planning, and her theoretical writing.
Scott Brown’s work is often associated with that of her husband’s, Robert Venturi, as the couple have been working together teaching, collaborating and designing since they met at the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. Scott Brown joined Venturi’s firm in 1967 and their work there, and later at their joint firm VSBA, defined the postmodern movement and brought cutting edge design to suburban areas and college campuses.
In 1972, Scott Brown with Venturi published Learning from Las Vegas: the Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form with co-author Steven Izenour, which rejected the minimalist elements of modernism. The book published studies of the Las Vegas Strip, undertaken with students in an architectural research studio course which Scott Brown taught with Venturi in 1970 at Yale's School of Architecture and Planning. Ultimately the book accepted and celebrated the sprawl of American architecture.
Venturi won the Pritzker Prize in 1991, and there was later a campaign to recognize Scott Brown as a winner as well, although the Pritzker committee declined to alter its original decision. They were jointly awarded the 2016 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the first time the award was given to multiple people.
In 1989, Scott Brown published the famous essay titled Room at the top? Sexism and the Star System in Architecture. Although Scott Brown already wrote the essay in 1975, she decided not to publish it at the time, out of fear of damaging her career. In the essay she describes her struggle to be recognized as an equal partner of the firm, in an architecture world that was predominantly male. She has since been an advocate for Women in Architecture and has spoken out about discrimination within the profession on several accounts.
While Scott Brown has retired from designing, she continues to teach and write actively. Using Street View, here we explore some of Scott Brown’s most well known buildings, some of which she designed with Venturi and others she took on as solo projects.
Fire Station #4, Columbus, Indiana, USA
Franklin Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Ohio, USA
Seattle Art Museum, Washington, USA
Children’s Museum of Houston, Texas, USA
Provincial Capitol Building, Toulouse, France
Congregation Beth El, Sunbury, Pennsylvania, USA