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Edward Larrabee Barnes

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Works Cathedral in Burlington, at Burlington, Vermont, 1978.
Cowles House, at Wayzata, Minnesota, 1960 (circa).

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Biography Edward Larrabee Barnes

(b. Chicago, Illinois 1915; d. September 21, 2004)

"Edward Larrabee Barnes, who set up his office in New York in 1949, was a true follower of the Harvard Graduate School of design style which emerged in the 1930s under the inspired leadership of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Its eminently purist forms of the European Modern Movement influenced many besides Barnes, including his near contemporary, I. M. Pei, and led to an architecture of restraint that was sensitive both to locality and to materials."

— , November 17, 2004

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1915, Edward Larrabee Barnes graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University. After traveling through Europe on the Sheldon Travelling Fellowship he established a private practice in New York. He taught at Pratt Institute in New York and Yale University in Connecticut. He has also served as vice-president to the American Academy in Rome.

Barnes designed a wide range of projects including civic, commercial, educational, and ecclesiastical buildings. He has also designed several urban and campus plans. For the most part, he created monumental buildings which avoid the appearance of coldness or formality. In his work, he exhibits sensitivity to both site and materials.

Barnes used geometry to order his spaces without restricting them. He meticulously detailed his buildings and simplified complex programs with dominant shapes and homogeneous materials. To further simplify and organize his designs, Barnes used modules. Precast concrete panels, cut stone and glass frequent his designs and help impose modular restrictions.

Some of his later works exhibit a lighter approach to materials, but they still rely on formal order and exacting detail.

Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA 680-C625. p68-69.


AIA Gold Medal, 2007

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"", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 318, 2007.0117, p1.


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