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The Sainsbury wing of the National Gallery, London (Part 1)


The National Football Foundation Hall of Fame (Part 3)
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown Architect
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[RV] We had fun in, kind of, reading when we were, kind of, learning about the project and reading the program, that we made – we very easily made an analogy that this was going to be a kind of religious building.  It was almost making these football players were the equivalent of saints.

[DSB] By the way they wrote about it.

[RV] And it was a religion. It was a, kind of, religious, holy thing beyond that and so that’s how we kind of… I think, that led us to the analogies we make of the building not as just a civic museum but as having a, kind of, qualities of a Christian church. And so these were, kind of, the equivalent of religious figures where a saint, where the… these guys were beyond just individuals, they were saints in the religion of sports.

What did they say in the program?

[RV] I don’t remember the details of the program. I’m sure we have it somewhere, but it was definitely a…

[DSB] It was about improving the moral fiber of the country through these, and things like that and it was very pretentiously written too.

[RV] But it was very much, I think, indicating the way Americans did think at the time and still do, of sports figures as being almost holy and exceedingly important figures.

Internationally renowned architects Robert Venturi (1925-2018) and Denise Scott Brown (b.1931) have helped transform contemporary design through their innovative architecture and planning. Winners of numerous prestigious awards, their designs have championed multiculturalism, social activism, symbolism, pop culture, history and evolving technologies.

Listeners: Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes is Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent books include Human Built World, Rescuing Prometheus and American Genesis. He is a member of the American Philosophical Society, US National Academy of Engineering, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds

Date story recorded: 22nd to 23rd September 2006

Date story went live: 27 May 2010