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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104041 items
RIBA3951Design for the Indian Bridge at Sezincote, Moreton-in-Marsh

 
RIBA3953Design for an octagonal cottage

 
RIBA3955Hungerford Market, London: perpective view of the galleries, showing a flower-seller


RIBA3957Design for the west elevation of a cathedral

 
RIBA3960Design for Rookwood Cemetery Railway Station, Sydney, Australia

 
RIBA3962Design for a country villa


RIBA3963Design for Stanley Hall, Shropshire

 
RIBA3965Design for a tower for Selfridge's department store, Oxford Street, London

 
RIBA3966Design for the saloon ceiling, Longleat House, Wiltshire, for the Marquis of Bath


RIBA3970Interior of an Egyptian temple

 
RIBA3972Designs for the redecoration of the chapel and addition of an adjoining monument room, Wynyard Park, County Durham, for the 6th Marquis of Londonderry: view of the chapel looking south-east

 
RIBA3973Design for Mason's Yard Electricity Generating Station, Duke Street, London for St. James & Pall Mall Electric Lighting Company


RIBA3974Persective of the chimney at Grove Road Power Station, Lodge Road, St John's Wood, London for the Central Electricity Supply Company

 
RIBA3975Blickling Hall, Norfolk: design for a fireplace in the library

 
RIBA3976View through an archway, Venice


RIBA3977Cathedral of Notre Dame, Reims: south portal of west front

 
RIBA3978Amphitheatre at Pola (Pula): view from the west

 
RIBA3979Competition design for the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, London, showing Westminster Hall on the left


RIBA3980Design for the Library and Scientific Institution, Wellington Street, Islington, London

 
RIBA3981Designs for Moreby Hall, North Yorkshire, for Henry Preston, Esq.: perpsective of entrance front

 
RIBA3982Design for the conservatory, Mamhead Park, Mamhead, Devon


RIBA3983Southwark Bridge, London: detail of pier and spandrels from the south-west

 
RIBA3984Design for a room in the Jacobean style, Poles, near Thundridge, Hertfordshire

 
RIBA3985Design for the Imperial Institute, South Kensington, London: detail of gable to wings, front elevation


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