chapter  2
106 Pages

Questioning Origins, Searching for Alternatives

This chapter explores relationships between travel and the conceptualization and production of architecture by presenting conversations with two prominent American architects, both Fellows of the American Academy in Rome (FAAR): Robert Venturi and Tod Williams. Each architect referred to different historical layers of urban fabric as sources of his ideas and chose different routes through which to experience Rome. The American Academy in Rome, founded in 1913, is the most prominent American research institution abroad. McKim advocated for an academy located in Rome rather than Paris because he argued that Rome held the greatest number of examples for classical studies. The American Academy in Rome was founded in 1913 by merging the American School of Architecture and the American School of Classical Studies in Rome. As a means of admission, design competitions were held in New York following a version of the French Prix de Rome competition.