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Designer, Landscape architect, and theorist Charles Jencks dies at age 80

Designer, Landscape architect, and theorist Charles Jencks dies at age 80

The Cells of Life by Charles Jencks at Jupiter Artland. Image by Allan Pollok-Morris, courtesy of Jupiter Artland.

With an acute sense to construct transcending images and taxonomies, Charles Jencks was the one able to date the precise moment postmodern architecture and planning began: with the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe Housing Estate on July 15, 1972.

Born in Baltimore, Jencks earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard University and then went on to study his master’s in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Afterward, he moved to the UK, where he studied for his Ph.D. at the University College London under the guidance of Rayner Banham. 

Among a long list of very influential writings, we would like to highlight The Language of Post-Modern Architecture written in 1977 that taught us a pluralistic reading of architecture’s diverse landscape. Apart from that, he leaves behind the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres, the marvelous Garden of Cosmic Speculation, and his London house that is planned to become a museum, the Cosmic House, open to the public. 

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