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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102386 items
RIBA74871 Richmond Terrace, Whitehall, London: the dining room

 
RIBA501781 Rocque Lane, Blackheath, London

 
RIBA37441 Royal Crescent, Bath


RIBA1019201 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy

 
RIBA1019221 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy

 
RIBA1019051 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of balcony and window


RIBA1019181 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of glass canopy and ironwork support

 
RIBA1019191 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of ironwork on the main entrance

 
RIBA1019041 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of one of the windows with its decorative ironwork


RIBA1019231 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: detail of the entrance gates to the street

 
RIBA1019211 rue Louis Majorelle, Nancy: the entrance front and steps

 
RIBA1020261 Rupert Road (corner of Bath Road and Rupert Road), Bedford Park, Turnham Green, London


RIBA330241 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, Victoria

 
RIBA330251 Spring Street (formerly Shell House), Melbourne, Victoria

 
RIBA477191 St Andrew's Hill, City of London


RIBA1020741 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA1020841 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA1020851 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London


RIBA1020791 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA888081 St James's Street (formerly the Alliance Assurance Company building), London

 
RIBA60191 St James's Street, London


RIBA520311 Stanhope Place, London: corner of the drawing room

 
RIBA520281 Stanhope Place, London: corner of the drawing room

 
RIBA520291 Stanhope Place, London: detail of the entablature, columns and pilasters in the drawing room


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