Charles Willard Moore (1925-1993)
“We are deeply rooted in culture, places and people. Architecture is part of a continuum”. (Charles Willard Moore)
Charles Willard Moore has had a considerable influence on American architecture in the past thirty years. He had an extensive body of built work and years of teaching across the United States (University of California, Yale, University of Texas). He has also built in Japan (Nishiokamoto Housing, Kobe, Japan, 1992).
Moore has said that architecture should be considered a performing art, and indeed some of his projects look more like stage designs than they bring to mind ‘serious’ architecture (Piazza d’Italia, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1977-78).
The inability to classify Moore, because of his frequent changes of style, is what I appreciate about him the most. I find his diversity in style aesthetics and disposition of various elements within a space incredibly inspiring. His frequent use of large openings which provide indirect lighting creates conviviality and open circulation.
The IBA competition for the Tegel Harbor Housing (1980) was certainly what brought him to international attention. Steel, concrete and corrugated aluminium are used inside to give an accessible atmosphere to the open stacks. A large vocabulary of architectural forms gives this social housing a richly varied aspect, united by the colour scheme and the zinc of roofing.
In addition to his influential work as an architect and university educator, Moore was a prolific author, publishing a dozen books. Many other books, monographs, and articles document his designs.
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