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.

Feature by Jonathan Makepeace. 

 

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103354 items
RIBA2449013 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view of the dining area adjoined by the living area

 
RIBA2391813 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view of the roof terrace looking into the studio

 
RIBA2392313 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London: view through the French windows from the dining area into the garden


RIBA9927113 Fenchurch Avenue and Fen Court, City of London: perspective

 
RIBA5757613 Highbury Terrace Mews, Islington, London: the garden elevation

 
RIBA293521-3 Long Row and 3-9 Clumber Street (Market Place), Nottingham: design for shops and offices


RIBA916381-3 Minster Court, York

 
RIBA8853113 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8852813 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham


RIBA8853213 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8852913 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA8853313 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham


RIBA8853013 Nursery units, Crowther Industrial Estate, Washington, County Durham

 
RIBA465091-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the garden front

 
RIBA85581-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the garden front under construction


RIBA3394-551-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street facade

 
RIBA85601-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street front under construction

 
RIBA166541-3 Willow Road, Hampstead, London: the street front under construction


RIBA5571413-14 Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, London

 
RIBA1796913-15 Sollershott West, Letchworth Garden City

 
RIBA49721132 Hamilton Terrace, St John's Wood, London


RIBA5577613-24 Winsor Terrace, Stepney, London

 
RIBA41106133 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia

 
RIBA7775133-153 Regent Street, London


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