Vanna Venturi House, “House for Mother” (1962)

Robert Venturi
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In architectural terms, semitics refer to the language that have certain cultural meanings or connotations. For example in this case, Venturi uses the “gable roof” to depict the meaning of a traditional “house”. The chimney can also be used for a similar effect. While using these elements, he creates a structure that defies the form and appearance of a traditional house. As architecture fans would agree, this makes the Vanna Venturi House one of the most significant buildings in modern architecture.

The owner was just walking in with her groceries as we arrived, and she gave us a brief tour of the house. Among the various neat elements, the beautiful integration of a single curve in strictly rectilinear walls seemed to soften up the spaces and make it more dynamic. She mentioned that the house has been repainted since its construction, with Venturi himself revisiting the house numerous times to contemplate the colors in different light conditions.

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