Philadelphia Museum of Art

This engaging book presents the first critical retrospective look at the extraordinary architectural achievement of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and their firm. Known for such prominent buildings as the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery in London and the Seattle Art Museum as well as such major urban revitalisation plans as Washington Avenue in Miami and South Street in Philadelphia, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates changed the face of architectural history. This husband and wife team rejected the universality of modernist design for a particularised contextual and associational approach to building, lauding the "complexity and contradictions" in the historic citycape and "learning from Las Vegas" the value and vitality of the everyday environment. The book, which combines both biography and critical analysis, includes essays on the firm's early and later architectural works and on their lesser-known decorative arts. It also features handsome colour plates of the firm's buildings, architectural drawings, and furniture and other decorative arts, as well as a checklist of all their buildings and projects. The catalogue accompanies a major exhibition that opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in June of 2001 and then travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, California; and the Heinz Architectural Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.