Architects sketches document the design process for The Getty Villa in Malibu, California
PORTLAND, Ore. — (Jan. 8, 2010) – The art of the architect’s drawings and diagrams will be showcased at the UO in Portland in The Getty Sketchbooks exhibition. From Jan. 25 through Feb. 19, The Getty Sketchbooks will be on display at the White Box Laboratory at 24 N.W. 1st Ave. The opening reception will be held on First Thursday, Feb. 4 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a free, public lecture with exhibit curator, Roger Sherwood, entitled “The Death of the Esquisse” from 7-8 p.m. in the event room at 70 N.W. Couch Ave. White Box hours are 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tues.- Sat.
Through exhibitions and related educational and public programming, the White Box is dedicated to creating a laboratory for the exploration of contemporary creativity and critical inquiry for students, faculty, visiting artists, architects, designers and scholars, and the Oregon community. White Box programming reflects and extends the intellectual work of the University, attracting diverse audiences with a range of specific interests. The White Box accepts project proposals year-round.
Don Genasci, professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, took the lead in bringing the show to Portland. According to Genasci, “the esquisse is a progression of hand drawings that leads to a design. It a very rational way of working to create architecture.”
Genasci stated, “It’s a really wonderful exhibition, it’s one of those rare exhibits that shows how great architects work and think. It is as close as most people will probably ever get to seeing how an architect truly works, not just any architect, but really good architects, that’s the crucial aspect of this exhibition.”
In 1993, The Getty Museum, located in Malibu, California, held a competition for the renovation of the Getty Villa. The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum devoted to classical arts and culture. Through conservation, permanent collections, rotating exhibitions, research and public programs, The Villa serves a broad audience. The Villa is connected with the museum to create an integrated cultural institution.
Six architectural firms were invited to compete for the commission of the Getty Villa project. The architects were asked to fill blank sketchbooks with drawings and notes conveying their vision for the master plan and design of the new expansion. Although Machado and Silvetti Associates received the commission for the project, the other five firms in the competition were Craig Hodgetts & Hsin-Ming Fung, Franklin D. Israel, Gerhard Kallmann & Michael McKinnell, Juan Navarro-Baldeweg, and Alvaro Siza-Vieira. The story of the original sketchbooks submitted for the design of the Getty Villa is shared through The Getty Sketchbooks exhibition.
Comprised of twenty-one 30” x 30” painted aluminum panels, the exhibit presents reproductions of two hundred sketches and drawings from the original books in the Getty Archives. The drawings provide insights to the working process of the architects, and the original sketchbooks are a record of the use of the “esquisse” as the instrument of design.
The exhibition documents the transformation of the Getty Villa site and shows how architects’ sketchbooks were utilized in the competition to select the most appropriate design. Excerpts from personal interviews and an analysis of the concepts and design process of each architect and represented firm are included in the exhibit.
Roger Sherwood, emeritus professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture, is the curator of The Getty Sketchbooks exhibition. The exhibit was created with the support of a grant from the USC program Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Sherwood graduated from the UO’s architecture program in 1961.
All events are free and open to the public.