Villanueva, Carlos Raúl (1900–1975)

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Villanueva, Carlos Raúl (1900–1975)

Carlos Raúl Villanueva, born in England on May 30, 1900, was the premier Venezuelan architect of the twentieth century. He was educated in Paris at the Lycée Condorcet and the school of architecture of the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, where he studied with Gabriel Héraud. Villanueva's projects were numerous and demonstrated a long-term vision devoted to recreating the landscape of Caracas. In addition to acting as an architectural consultant to the Worker's Bank of Venezuela, he was a pioneer of urban renewal, planning El Silencio, a complex of apartments and shops, in Caracas and the low-cost General Rafael Urdaneta housing developments in Maracaibo during the 1940s. Between 1944 and 1957 he designed several buildings for the University of Caracas, among them the library and the medical school. Villanueva is known for his design of "floating structures," which include his crowning achievements: the university's Olympic Stadium (1950) and the Olympic swimming pool (1957). Villanueva was the founder and first president of the Venezuelan Society of Architects; he was also a professor of architecture at the Central University of Venezuela. He died in Caracas on August 16, 1975.

See alsoArchitecture: Modern Architecture .


Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. Carlos Raúl Villanueva and the Architecture of Venezuela. New York: Praeger, 1964. Spanish edition: Carlos Raúl Villanueva y la arquitectura de Venezuela, trans. Clara Diament de Sujo. Caracas: Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural, 1999.

Páez, Rafael. Los hombres que han hecho Venezuela. Caracas: Editorial Biosfera/Petare: Distribuidora Escolar, 1983.

Villanueva, Paulina, and Maciá Pintó. Carlos Raúl Villanueva. Photographs by Paolo Gasparini. Sevilla: Tanais Ediciones, 2000. English edition: Carlos Raúl Villanueva. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000.

                                      Michael A. Polushin

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Villanueva, Carlos Raúl (1900–1975)

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