The Catholic University of America

Sept. 7, 2011

Juhani Pullasmaa Serves as Professor in Residence at Architecture School

  Juhani Pallasmaa


The School of Architecture and Planning welcomes Juhani Pallasmaa from Monday, Sept. 19, to Friday, Oct. 14, as the 2011 Walton Critic and professor in residence.

Pallasmaa is regarded as one of the most lucid architectural theoreticians and practitioners in the world today, says Randall Ott, dean of the architecture school. His book The Eyes of the Skin is one of the most read texts in architecture schools across the globe. His exhibitions of Finnish architecture have been displayed in more than 30 countries. He is a former professor of architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology and former director of the Museum of Finnish Architecture. He is an acting jury member of the Pritzker Prize, the Nobel Prize equivalent in architecture.

While continuing to run his own renowned architecture office in Helsinki, Pallasmaa travels the world teaching that the ethical task of architecture is to (in his own words) “defend the authenticity and autonomy of human experience as well as the existence of the transcendental realm, the reality of the sacred.” And he adds “living in this quasi-rational time of ours, we are in a desperate need of the mental emancipation that the spiritual and artistic experiences can provide to human thought, emotion, and imagination.”

“Our architecture program is delighted to have someone of the international and influential stature of architect Pallasmaa who speaks to the heart of what we at CUA profess to be the central matter of architectural studies, scholarship, and practice – that link between design and what is sacred,” says Randall Ott, dean of the school of architecture.

While in residence at the School of Architecture and Planning, Pallasmaa will direct a four-week-long graduate studio investigating the relationship between architecture and spirituality and participate in other activities at the school including guest talks and reviews.

His main public lecture will be given as part of the architecture school’s 100th anniversary celebration on Friday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. He will lecture on “The Sacred in Architecture.”

Pallasmaa’s residence is made possible in part by the Clarence Walton Fund for Catholic Architecture. Past Walton Critics include architects Atoine Predock and Craig Hartman.


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