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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102547 items
RIBA60351 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London

 
RIBA156561 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London: the entrance hall

 
RIBA1019831 Boulevard Charles V, Nancy


RIBA279821 Bridge Street, The Cross, Chester, Cheshire

 
RIBA523511 Broad Street, Stamford

 
RIBA83801 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: leather screen painted by Mary Adshead


RIBA83771 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: papier-mache tray painted by Mary Adshead

 
RIBA83791 Chester Gate, Regent's Park, London: screen painted by Mary Adshead

 
RIBA702071 Coleman Street, City of London


RIBA702081 Coleman Street, City of London

 
RIBA702031 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA702041 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk


RIBA702051 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA702061 Coleman Street, City of London, at dusk

 
RIBA918751 Hare Court, Temple, City of London


RIBA1054941 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh

 
RIBA248111 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the dining room seen from the sitting room after conversion from the original late Victorian interiors

 
RIBA248101 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the entrance hall after conversion from the original late Victorian interiors


RIBA178601 Kensington Palace Gardens, London: the west wall of the drawing room

 
RIBA473721 Montpellier Walk, Cheltenham

 
RIBA260641 Mount Lane, Chichester


RIBA182181 Mount Lane, Chichester: the south elevation and the garden

 
RIBA260631 Mount Lane, Chichester: view into the living room from the garden at dusk

 
RIBA935631 Penn Plaza, New York


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