John Morris Dixon, FAIA Presents “The Building Next Door: How Architecture Relates to its Context.”

January 10, 2013

On Friday, January 11, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Essex Town Hall the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series will welcome author and former editor of Progressive Architecture, John Morris Dixon, FAIA who will present “The Building Next Door: How Architecture Relates to its Context.”

Every building is necessarily related to its surroundings, whether natural or constructed. But the pioneers of Modern architecture rarely gave much thought to neighboring buildings, because their ultimate goal was to replace them all. Around the 1960s, architects began to realize that the context of their works was going to stay around a while. Their designs increasingly took into account the scale, proportions, and materials of nearby structures, as well as established patterns of physical development. In some cases the pendulum swung too far, and “contextualism” was understood as a making new construction look just like its neighbors. Thoughtful contrast can be as effective a response to context as conformity. This talk will deal with revealing examples of architecture in context from around the world and right here in Connecticut.

John Morris Dixon, FAIA

An MIT graduate, John Morris Dixon began his career as an architectural journalist in 1960. He served as chief editor of Progressive Architecture 1972-96, helping achieve the magazine’s worldwide influence. The breadth of his knowledge and insight has made John Dixon a much-valued observer on numerous design juries and selection panels. In recent years, he has written for such publications as Architectural Record, Architectural Research Quarterly, Architecture, Competitions, Domus, Harvard Design Magazine, House & Garden, Officeinsight, and Places. Books he has written include The World Bank: Kohn Pedersen Fox and the Architecture of a Landmark Building. A grant from the Graham Foundation supports his current project, a book tracing the course of modern architecture from 1950 to the present.

The talk is free and open to the public. To learn more about this year’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture series, click here.