Charles Willard Moore

From Academic Kids

Charles Willard Moore (October 31, 1925 Benton Harbor, Michigan - December 16, 1993 Austin, Texas) was an American architect, educator, and writer, winner of the AIA Gold Medal in 1991.

Moore graduated from the University of Michigan in 1947 and took his PhD from Princeton in 1957. He was Dean of the Yale School of Architecture from 1965 through 1970, directly after the tenure of Paul Rudolph. Moore's somewhat Dionysian personality and his dedication to innovation, collaboration, debate and direct experience was sharp contrast to Rudolph's authoritarian approach. With Kent Bloomer, Moore founded the Yale Building Project in 1967 as a way to both demonstrate social responsibility and demystify the construction process for first-year students. The Project is still ongoing.

Moore opened practice in New Haven and in the following years practiced under a confusing variety of configurations and partners and names (including Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker (MLTW), Centerbrook Architects, Moore Ruble Yudell, Urban Innovations Group, and Moore/Andersson) through his extensive worldwide travels and moves to Santa Monica, California for a professorship at UCLA, then to Austin, Texas.

Moore's legacy of completed structures has not worn well. He neglected to develop a consistent signature style; he was too attached to ongoing dialectic and cross-fertilization to settle for such a thing. Much of his important work, like the campus of Kresge College at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the form of an irregular academic village, seems as dated and faintly ridiculous as Moore's own bulbous eyeglasses and muttonchop sideburns. Other works include:

With his preference for conspicuous design features, loud color combinations, supergraphics, stylistic collisions, the re-use of esoteric historical design solutions, and the use of non-traditional materals like plastic, mylar, platinum tiles, and neon signs, Moore's architecture always provides arousal, demands attention, and sometimes tips over into kitsch. His own mid-60's New Haven residence, published in Playboy, features an open, freestanding shower in the middle of the room, its water nozzled through a giant sunflower. Such stylistic collisions have encouraged the postmodernists to retroactively adopt Moore as one of their own. The true philosophic link between the two is questionable.

Charles Moore's true legacy is as teacher, collaborator, and writer. "Body, Memory, and Architecture," written with Kent Bloomer during the Yale years, is a plea for architects to design structures for three-dimensional user experience instead of two-dimensional visual appearance. "The City Observed: Los Angeles" is a brilliant and perpetually fresh guide to LA's significant architecture.

External links


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools