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Joseph Rykwert


  Male      American      Architect



About Author

Joseph Rykwert CBE (born 1926) is Paul Philippe Cret Professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and one of the foremost architectural historians and critics of his generation. He has spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom and America. Rykwert is the author of many influential works on architecture, including The Idea of a Town (1963), On Adam’s House in Paradise (1972), The Dancing Column (1996) and The Seduction of Place (2000). All his books have been translated into several languages.

The son of Elizabeth Melup and Szymon Rykwert, Rykwert was born in Warsaw in 1926 and moved to England in 1939, on the eve of the second world war. Rykwert was educated at Charterhouse and then at the Bartlett School of Architecture (University College, London) and the Architectural Association in London. His first academic posts were lecturing at Hammersmith School of Arts & Crafts and subsequently at the Ulm School of Design from 1958, and then as Librarian and Tutor at the Royal College of Art from 1961 to 1967 where he obtained his PhD. He was appointed Professor of Art at the newly created University of Essex, a post he held from 1967 until 1980, when he moved to Cambridge first as Slade Professor in the Fine Arts and then as Reader in architecture. Here Rykwert continued his influential master’s programme, taught with the architectural critic Dalibor Vesely. In 1988 Rykwert was appointed as the Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, a post he held until 1998 (now Emeritus).

Joseph Rykwert has lectured or taught at many major schools of architecture throughout the world and has held visiting appointments at Princeton, the Cooper Union, New York, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Sydney, of Louvain, the Institut d’Urbanisme, Paris, the Central European University and others: in 1998-99 he was a British Academy visiting professor at the University of Bath. He has held senior fellowships at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Washington, and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. In 1984 Rykwert was appointed Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh (1995), the University of Cordoba, Argentina (1998), the University of Bath (2000), of Toronto (2005) Rome (20005) and Trieste (2007), and is a member of the Italian Accademia di San Luca and the Polish Academy. In 2000 he was awarded the Bruno Zevi prize in architectural history by the Biennale of Venice, and in 2009 the Gold Medal Bellas Artes, Madrid. He has been president of the international council of architectural critics (CICA) since 1996, and is the recipient of the 2014 Royal Gold Medal...


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