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Josep Lluís Sert

Josep Lluís Sert

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Josep Lluís Sert i López (ʒuˈzɛb ʎuˈis ˈsɛrt) (1902 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 — March 15, 1983 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

) was a Spanish Catalan
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 architect and city planner.

Biography


Born in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, he showed keen interest in the works of his painter uncle Josep Maria Sert and of Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

. He studied architecture at the Escola Superior d'Arquitectura in Barcelona and set up his own studio in 1929. That same year he shifted to Paris, in response to an invitation from Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 to work for him (without payment). Returning to Barcelona in 1930, he continued his practice there until 1937. During the 1930s, he co-founded the group GATCPAC (Grup d'Artistes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània, i.e. Group of Catalan Artists and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture), which later became, with the addition of the western and north groups, the GATEPAC
GATEPAC
GATEPAC was a group of architects assembled during the Second Spanish Republic...

 (Grupo de Artistas y Técnicos Españoles para el Progreso de l'Arquitectura Contemporánea), which was in turn the Spanish branch of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne
Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne
The Congrès internationaux d'architecture moderne – CIAM was an organization founded in 1928 and disbanded in 1959, responsible for a series of events and congresses arranged around the world by the most prominent architects of the time, with the objective of spreading the principles of the Modern...

(CIAM). Some time later, he became President of CIAM (1947–56). He created several outstanding pieces of modern architecture during this period, such as the week-end house at Garraf, Catalonia, Spain (1935), the Central Dispensary of Barcelona (1935) and the Master Plan for the City of Barcelona (1933–35). From 1937 through 1939 he lived in Paris, where he designed the Spanish Republic's pavilion at the World's Fair, the Paris Exposition of 1937
Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937)
The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne was held from May 25 to November 25, 1937 in Paris, France...

. The Spanish Pavilion was built right beside the Nazi Germany Pavilion, while in Spain the Civil War was going on and the Nazis had just bombed the town of Guernica. For the artistic content of the building, Sert called on his Spanish artist friends Picasso, Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, and Calder
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.-Childhood:Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton,...

; Picasso's contribution was Guernica
Guernica (painting)
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War...

 and became the focal attraction of Sert's design.

Career in the United States



In 1939 Sert went into exile in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 where he worked with the Town Planning Associates, carrying out numerous urban plans for cities in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

.

In 1952, Sert held a one-year Visiting Professorship at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

. The following year he became Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design
Harvard Graduate School of Design
The Harvard Graduate School of Design is a graduate school at Harvard University offering degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning and Design.-History:...

 (1953–1969). There, he initiated the world's first degree program in urban design
Urban design
Urban design concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities, and in particular the shaping and uses of urban public space. It has traditionally been regarded as a disciplinary subset of urban planning, landscape architecture, or architecture and in more recent times has...

; integrated the programs of architecture, planning, landscape and urban design, and taught many of today's leading architects. During this period he served on the Advisory Board of the newly created Graham Foundation
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, based in Chicago, supports the arts, architecture, and institutions through public programs, and grants for projects....

 in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1955, Sert founded a studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, which in 1958 became a partnership with Huson Jackson and Ronald Gourley. Joseph Zalewski was the Associate and continued to be in the firm Sert, Jackson and Associate founded in 1963. The studio designed many well-known projects including the Maeght Foundation (1959–64) in southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the Fundació Miró (museum) in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 (1975) and quite a few buildings for Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, including Holyoke Center (1958–65), the Harvard Science Center
Harvard Science Center
The Harvard University Science Center is the major teaching venue on Harvard University campus for undergraduate science and mathematics.The Science Center was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert, then dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and built in 1973...

 (1969–72), Peabody Terrace (apartments, 1962–64), the Center for the Study of World Religions at the Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School
Harvard Divinity School is one of the constituent schools of Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States. The School's mission is to train and educate its students either in the academic study of religion, or for the practice of a religious ministry or other public...

, and other buildings in the vicinity, such as a complex at Boston University
Boston University
Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

 including its law school
Boston University School of Law
Boston University School of Law is the law school affiliated with Boston University, and is ranked #22 among American law schools by US News and World Report magazine. It is the second-oldest law school in Massachusetts and one of the first law schools in the country to admit students regardless...

, student union
Student activity center
A student activity center is a type of building found on university campuses. In the United States, such a building is more often called a student union, student commons, or student center...

, and main library
Mugar Memorial Library
The Mugar Memorial Library is the primary library for study, teaching, and research in the humanities and social sciences for Boston University and Boston University Academy. It was opened in 1966. Stephen P. Mugar, an Armenian immigrant who was successful in the grocery business, provided the...

 (1960–65), and Sert's home in Cambridge, as well as the Eastwood and Westview apartments on Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island, known as Welfare Island from 1921 to 1973, and before that Blackwell's Island, is a narrow island in the East River of New York City. It lies between the island of Manhattan to its west and the borough of Queens to its east...

, NYC (1976). In 1961 Sert brought Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

 to the United States to design his first (and only) building there, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the only building actually built by Le Corbusier in the United States, and one of only two in the Americas...

 at Harvard, and a gallery in the Carpenter Center is now named in Sert's honor.

The Art World


Josep Lluis Sert counted amongst his close friends the likes of Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was an American sculptor and artist most famous for inventing mobile sculptures. In addition to mobile and stable sculpture, Alexander Calder also created paintings, lithographs, toys, tapestry, jewelry and household objects.-Childhood:Alexander "Sandy" Calder was born in Lawnton,...

, Joan Miro
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, Georges Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

, Mirko Basaldella, and Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

 for who he designed studios and houses. He brought art into the Harvard curriculum through his avid support for the Carpenter Center. His design for the Fondation Maeght, the Fundacion Joan Miro and the Museum School were more than an architect-client relationship, they were partnerships in the discovery of modern art.

Amongst Sert's students and colleagues in his studio are leading and past master architects from the America, Spain, France, Bolivia, and Brazil, including Dolf Schnebli of Switzerland, Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki
is a Japanese architect and currently teaching at Keio University SFC.- Biography :After studying at the University of Tokyo he moved to the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and then to Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1956, he took a post as assistant professor of...

 of Japan, Christopher Charles Benninger
Christopher Charles Benninger
Christopher Charles Benninger is an American-Indian architect and planner born in the United States in 1942. He studied urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, where he later taught .Benninger studied under Josep Lluis...

 of India; and many more.

Major buildings and projects



  • 1930-1931: Apartment Building at 342, Muntaner street, Barcelona
    Barcelona
    Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

    , Spain
  • 1933-1934: Joyería J. Roca (currently Tous) at 18, Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1934: Ciutat de Repòs i de Vacances, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1933-1935: Dispensario Antituberculoso, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1932-1936: Casa Bloc, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1937: Republic pavilion, Barcelona, Spain
  • 1937: Spanish pavilion, Paris Exposition of 1937
    Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (1937)
    The Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne was held from May 25 to November 25, 1937 in Paris, France...

  • 1955: Joan Miró studio Fundació Pilar y Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
  • 1955-1969: Old U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Irak
  • 1957: Sert's home in Cambridge, at 64 Francis Avenue (Massachusetts), USA

See: http://en.wikiarquitectura.com/index.php/Sert's_House_in_Cambridge
[ For current ownership data for the house, see: http://www2.cambridgema.gov/fiscalaffairs/PropertyDetail.cfm?PropertyId=11780 ]
  • 1958-1965: Holyoke Center, Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

    , (Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    ), USA
  • 1959-1964: Fondation Maeght
    Fondation Maeght
    Fondation Maeght is a museum of modern art situated in Saint-Paul de Vence in the south of France about 25km from Nice. It was founded by Marguerite and Aimé Maeght in 1964 and houses paintings, sculptures, collages, ceramics and all forms of modern art....

     in Saint-Paul de Vence, France
  • 1969: Hotel at Cala D'en Serra, Ibiza
    Ibiza
    Ibiza or Eivissa is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea 79 km off the coast of the city of Valencia in Spain. It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, an autonomous community of Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Pine Islands or Pityuses. Its largest cities are Ibiza...

    , Spain (abandoned)
  • 1971: Carmel de la Paix in Mazille
    Mazille
    Mazille is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.-References:*...

     (Saône-et-Loire
    Saône-et-Loire
    Saône-et-Loire is a French department, named after the Saône and the Loire rivers between which it lies.-History:When it was formed during the French Revolution, as of March 4, 1790 in fulfillment of the law of December 22, 1789, the new department combined parts of the provinces of southern...

    ), France
  • 1973: Harvard Science Center
    Harvard Science Center
    The Harvard University Science Center is the major teaching venue on Harvard University campus for undergraduate science and mathematics.The Science Center was designed by Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert, then dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and built in 1973...

    , Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

    , (Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    ), USA
  • 1975: Fundació Joan Miró
    Fundació Joan Miró
    The ' is a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró and located on the hill called Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia.-History:...

    , Barcelona, Spain

External links