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Whitney Stoddard Lecture: John Ochsendorf

Wed, October 28th, 2020
5:00 pm
- 7:00 pm

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Whitney Stoddard Lecture: John Ochsendorf

Searching for Form: Vaulted Structures from Antiquity to Guastavino

John Ochsendorf
Professor of Architecture and Engineering, MIT

This lecture presents new research in the history and design of vaulted masonry structures, with a particular emphasis on the ceramic tile vaults of the immigrant architect Rafael Guastavino Jr. (1872-1950). After tracing milestones in the global development of vaulted structural form, the extraordinary contributions of Guastavino vaulting to early 20th century American architecture will be demonstrated. Finally, the lecture will demonstrate how decades of research in construction history is uncovering new possibilities for contemporary vaulted art and architecture in stone and brick.

John Ochsendorf is the Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Engineering at MIT, where he directs research in the history and design of masonry structures. He is the author of Guastavino Vaulting: The art of structural tile (2010) and has published widely on the history and mechanics of masonry construction.  His research has been supported by a Fulbright Grant to Spain (2000), a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2008) and a MacArthur Fellowship (2008).  He served as the Director of the American Academy in Rome from 2017-2020.

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