How buildings get their names


How buildings get their names

What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to creating names it can be a lot. While some nicknames are fleeting and change with the most recent bidder, some names are indelible and leave a lasting mark in the public imagination. The names of clients, cities, businesses and streets provide ample material for naming, but some architects are more strategic. Architects like Peter Eisenman created a numbered series (House I, House II, etc.) For these architects, the name places each building within a larger set of projects. This ensures that people will see every act of construction as part of a grand plan. Finally, sometimes, no matter how diligent a marketing team is, a building will find a nickname it just can’t shake … Gherkin. This video examines all of that by exploring how the buildings get their name.

Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring the deep and enduring stories of architecture in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events feature a wide range of topics related to the built environment to increase their general understanding and advocate for their importance in shaping the world we live in.

Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator who runs studios and lectures as an associate professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also Associate Dean at the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts and is the co-founder of the Design With Company practice. His work has won awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennale and Design Miami, as well as the V&A Museum and the Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket and the guest issue of MAS Context on the theme of the architecture of the characters.


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