Louis Hellman: Archi-têtes

Celebrating both the RIBA’s acquisition of Louis Hellman’s archive in 2018 and the milestone of RIBApix reaching 100,000 images with his Archi-tête of Charles Rennie Mackintosh we present a gallery of Archi-têtes. Louis Hellman, architect turned cartoonist, is famed for his cartoons satirising the world of architecture, architects, clients, developers and politicians, most notably featured in the Architects’ Journal for over 50 years, see here.

Notions of anthropomorphism are popular in cultural history even extending to architecture and architects who have long made use of the human form as a metaphor for a building and its parts. Perhaps most well known are Vitruvius’ ‘Vitruvian Man’ with his arms and legs outstretched positioned within a square and circle and Le Corbusier’s ‘Modulor’ a scale of proportions based on applying the ‘Golden Section’ to the height of a man with a vertically outstretched arm.

One of the best known and fun items within the RIBA Collections is the caricature bust of Sir Edwin Lutyens incorporating an architectural model for a 'chattri' roof feature for the Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan) in New Delhi.

The Archi-têtes series of caricatures of architects using elements of their own buildings and style plays on the anthropomorphic elements in architecture in a unique way. The series was actually conceived as competition entry to the Architectural Review in 1984 which Hellman won. He then continued to create further caricatures, himself and certain politicians included, for the Architectural Review and which were published in the book Archi-têtes: the id in the Grid (2000).

To see the full range of Hellman’s Archi-têtes on RIBApix click here

 

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100139 items
RIBA10714Clothes lines, Glencaple, near Dumfries

 
RIBA372737 Bidston Road, Oxton, Birkenhead, Merseyside: the dining room

 
RIBA2518-9Alexander Fleming House, Elephant and Castle, Southwark, London


RIBA34554Alton East Estate, Roehampton, London: view of the staggered terrace of houses with twelve-storey point blocks in the background

 
RIBA59327Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: Lynn Chadwick's sculpture 'The Watchers' with the point blocks beyond

 
RIBA4620Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: the staggered line of old people's cottages


RIBA2478Battersea 'A' Power Station, London, by night

 
RIBA2902-26Berthold Lubetkin in top hat beside caryatid at the entrance to Highpoint Two, North Hill, Highgate, London

 
RIBA2561-10Black & White Milk Bar, Gray's Inn Road, London, at night


RIBA5151Breves Lalique Galleries, Bond Street, London

 
RIBA3722Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, seen from Brushfield Street

 
RIBA3643-71Decimus Burton


RIBA4081Design for a poster for the Central Liquor Control Board entitled 'Use and Beauty' to decorate a pub or canteen, possibly in the Carlisle area

 
RIBA21225Design for a proposed new front for the North Briton public house, 10 New North Road, Hoxton, London

 
RIBA4113Design for a wallpaper entitled 'The Callum'


RIBA20216Design for Bromley Hall School for children with physical disabilities, Bromley Hall Road, Tower Hamlets, London

 
RIBA29448Design for Calverley Grange (now Pembury Grange), Sandown Park, Pembury, Kent: elevation, for Neville Ward

 
RIBA4022Design for Frinton Park Estate, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex


RIBA36739Design for Gatwick Airport: ground floor plan of the terminal building known as 'The Beehive'

 
RIBA36537Design for the Brook Street Hill Garden Village, Brentwood, Essex, for Homesteads Ltd.: plan with perspective details showing examples of proposed houses

 
RIBA4033Design for the interior decoration of the Chapel of St Joseph, Oratory of St Philip Neri, Brompton Road, Kensington, London


RIBA3087-37Designs for Broadleys (now Windermere Motor Boat Club), Gillhead, near Cartmel Fell, Lake Windermere, Cumbria, for Arthur Currer Briggs: perspective of terrace front with inset floor plans

 
RIBA3309-51Dreamland, Margate, Kent

 
RIBA3440-58Eames House, 206 Chautauqua Way, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles


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