Virtual Lectures via Zoom Webinar

Winter Series  2024

Marta O’Brien

Great Modern Architects

Presented by Marta O’Brien
Thursdays, January 11 to February 29, 2024
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Offered as virtual lectures via Zoom Webinar only.

Registration will begin on Friday, 24 November 2023 at 10:00 AM and tickets will be on sale until Friday, 5 January 2024 at 11:50 PM. After Friday, 5 January 2024 it will not be possible to register for individual lectures or a partial lecture series. Please note that you need buy only one ticket at $40 per household.

Great Modern Architects

Learn about the lives and works of eight of the West’s most innovative architects of the past 100 years, concentrating on the post‑1960 era. We’ll examine the unique buildings of Spain’s Gaudì, the humanistic works of Finland’s Aalto, the creativity of Canada’s Erickson, the futuristic designs of Britain’s Hadid, and more. You’ll learn about architects not well known outside the design community, including Swiss partners Herzog and de Meuron. While viewing hundreds of images, see if you agree with the accolades these remarkable architects have received.

January 11: Antoni Gaudì

This architect’s work reflects his deep love for nature. His buildings incorporate curved elements and colour through materials such as ceramic tiles, fancifully forged metal, and stained glass.

January 18: Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Mackintosh was inspired by the vernacular buildings of his native Scotland. He and his artist wife Margaret also exhibited Arts and Crafts and touches of Art Nouveau in their designs.

January 25: Alvar Aalto

Aalto’s buildings were Modern, yet with materials and traditions of Finland. He’s renowned for his attention to how people would use his spaces.  Architect Aino Aalto was his wife and partner.

February 1: Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

This married couple were pioneers in Postmodern architecture. Their publications and teaching were also very influential. Scott Brown has been a prominent voice for women in architecture.

February 8: Arthur Erickson

Considered Canada’s greatest architect, Erickson gave primary consideration to context, space and light at a time when these were not always thought to be essential in all buildings.

February 15: Frank Gehry

Gehry has designed distinctive public and private buildings all over the world. He is concerned that people exist comfortably in spaces he creates, and he addresses local context and culture.

February 22: Zaha Hadid

Known as “Queen of the Curves,” Zaha (as she is always known) incorporated very unusual forms into her designs. Many countries have examples of her innovative buildings.

February 29: Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron

These Swiss architects are known for their original forms and use of various building materials. They design all types of buildings, including residences, schools, museums and concert halls.

Marta O’Brien has been an architectural historian for more than 30 years. She earned her architecture degree with honours and her master’s degree researching the urban environment. Marta presents illustrated talks and courses for groups including historical societies and seniors’ learning organizations. She has taught architectural history courses at several institutions, including the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies – where she recently received an Excellence in Teaching Award.

In 2021, Marta was elected an Honorary Member of the Ontario Association of Architects.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 1 lecture notes and glossary.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 2 lecture notes and glossary.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 3 lecture notes and glossary.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 4 lecture notes and glossary.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 5 lecture notes and glossary.

Click here for a link to the Lecture 6 lecture notes and glossary