Charles Jencks



Charles Jencks, one of the most controversial architectural historians and critics of the last forty years, passed away on 13 October in London. Born in Baltimore in 1939, he studied at Harvard University, English Literature first followed by Architecture, before completing his PhD, with Reyner Banham as tutor, at the University College of London, city which would become his home. A unique supporter of ‘liberal postmodernity,’ Jencks was a creative historian who reassessed, with an open perspective, modern legacy in Modern Movements in Architecture (1972), his masterwork. He also defended his notion of the discipline and tried to take stock of the contemporary panorama with complex taxonomies in a title inferior to the previous one but perhaps more influential: The Language of Post-Modern Architecture (1977). Jencks was also an active critic, excessively imaginative at times, and always a defender of postmodern classicism and classicism. His passion for architecture is reflected in works as personal as his own home – a sort of manifesto –, and in the commissions – much more eclectic – to world-class architects as patron of the Maggie’s Centres. 

Included Tags: