Kenneth Frampton fonds

Kenneth Frampton fonds

Part of


  • Kenneth Frampton (archive creator)


Kenneth Frampton fonds

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • Approximately 28.37 l.m. textual records
  • Approximately 3966 photographs and prints
  • Approximately 3168 postcards
  • Approximately 2733 slides
  • Approximately 824 drawings (including reprographic copies)
  • Approximately 470 negatives
  • Approximately 220 CDs
  • 178 3.5" floppy disks
  • Approximately 151 35 mm negatives
  • Approximately 105 posters
  • Approximately 105 DVDs
  • 30 objects
  • 24 5.25" floppy disks
  • 23 audio cassettes
  • 22 Zip disks
  • 18 VHS tapes
  • 15 transparencies
  • 3 tape reels
  • 2 microfilms
  • 2 DC mini data cartridge tapes
  • 2 vinyl records

Scope and Content

The Kenneth Frampton fonds, 1958-2016, documents the professional career of Kenneth Frampton – British architect, historian, theorist, and Ware professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University.

The fonds documents the development of Frampton’s positions and teachings on architecture through a diverse range of personal and professional correspondence, research and teaching materials as well as drafts, manuscripts, and final versions of over 300 of his publications, most of which were published. Works that are represented in the archive include measurement drawings for Pierre Chareau and Bernard Bijvoet’s Maison de Verre in Paris, France; the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies’ (IAUS) Low-Rise High-Density (LRHD) housing project in Brooklyn, New York; and a number of Frampton’s most seminal publications – "Modern Architecture: A Critical History" (1980; revised 1985, 1992, and 2007) and "Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture" (1995).

The largest portion of the archive is comprised of original drafts and final copies of Frampton’s writings such as book chapters, introductions, articles, lectures, seminars, exhibitions and jury scripts. Correspondence is extensive and highlights Frampton’s various relationships with universities, publishers, editors, architects, researchers and students. Textual documentation also consists of recommendation letters, postcards, pamphlets, agendas, notebooks, course outlines, course readers, student projects, lectures, and research materials and notes.

Drawings in the archive comprise of measurement sketches and axonometric representations of the Maison de Verre and elevation and site plans for the LRHD housing project. Student drawings from GSAPP and various copies of architectural drawings by other architects are also included in the fonds. Posters relate to lectures and events hosted by GSAPP, IAUS, and various lectures that Frampton either participated in or attended.

The fonds contains a wide range of slides and photographs showing architects, architectural models, architectural drawings and the interior and exterior views of built projects from around the world. Photographs of the Maison de Verre by Michael Carapetian as well as professional headshots and photographs of Frampton attending various events are also included in the fonds.

CDs and DVDs consist of student projects from Frampton’s Comparative Critical Analysis Seminar at the GSAPP, but also include the works of other architects for reference purposes. Floppy disks and zip disks contain files of student projects and Frampton’s writings. Please note that the born digital materials are still in process. Audio cassettes and tape reels provide audio of Frampton’s lectures. VHS tapes mainly comprise of reference tapes of the works of other architects as well as projects that Frampton was directly involved in.

Objects in the archive consist of several gifts and personal items, including medals and awards that Frampton received throughout his extensive career.

Reference Number



AP197.S1 Works and teaching

AP197.S1.SS1 Maison de Verre (1965, 1969)

AP197.S1.SS2 Princeton University, Columbia University, and other academic affiliations

AP197.S1.SS3 IAUS (1970-1982)

AP197.S1.SS4 Modern architecture: a critical history (1968-1980, 2018)

AP197.S1.SS5 Critical regionalism (1983)

AP197.S1.SS6 Studies in tectonic culture (1984-2018)

AP197.S1.SS7 Labor, work and architecture (1966-1969, 1981-2008)

AP197.S1.SS8 Comparative critical analysis (1973-2015, 2018)

AP197.S1.SS9 Books, articles, reviews, lectures, seminars, and juries

AP197.S2 Research files

AP197.S3 Correspondence and recommendation letters

AP197.S4 Postcards, photographs, awards and souvenirs

AP197.S5 Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment (CASE)

AP197.S6 Agendas and address books

Biographical notes

Born in Woking, England, Kenneth Frampton (1930- ) completed his architecture studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, from 1950-1956, in London, England. In 1958, Frampton worked on several architecture projects in Israel, particularly in Negev, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. From 1961-1965, he worked as an associate partner at the firm Douglas Stephen and Partners in London. In the course of these four years, Frampton tutored at the Royal College of Art, the Architectural Association and worked as a technical editor for the architectural journal “Architectural Design”; he was responsible for the design and layout of thirty-six of the journal’s covers.

In 1964, Frampton participated in the first Princeton University meeting of the Conference of Architects for the Study of the Environment (CASE) and was then asked to prepare CASE’s second Princeton meeting. CASE was an organization of American East Coast architecture schools that sought to create a dialogue on the state of architecture with a focus on architectural practice and teaching. Among the participants of the Princeton meetings was Peter Eisenman, who in 1965 proposed that Frampton teach at the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Princeton University.

In 1965, as Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, Frampton, with Robert Vickery and Michael Carapetian, measured and photographed the Maison de Verre on 31 Rue St. Guillaume in Paris. This was Frampton’s first research project, which was originally intended to be a book but was later published as an article in a 1969 issue of “Perspecta”. Frampton remained a Hodder Fellow until 1966. From 1967 to 1972, Frampton taught at the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Princeton University as Associate Professor. He then left Princeton for a position as Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAP). In 1974, Frampton was promoted to Ware Professor at GSAP, an academic position that he holds at present. While at Columbia, Frampton also held multiple positions at other schools including the following: Senior Tutor, School of Environment Design, Royal College of Art in London (1974-1977); Visiting Professor at the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam (1990-1997); and Visiting Professor at Università della Svizzera italiana, Accademia di architectettura in Mendrisio (1998-2003).

In 1970, Frampton was particularly involved in housing design, including the Low-Rise High-Density housing project, which was the product of collaboration between the Urban Development Corporation of New York, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS), and the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design (MoMA). In 1970, Frampton became a Fellow of IAUS in New York and, in 1973, was a co-founding editor of IAUS’s magazine, “Oppositions”. He was editor for “Oppositions” from 1976 to 1982 and also worked on the graphic layout for “Oppositions” and the IAUS Catalogues from 1971-1981.

Frampton is known for his writings, critiques, and introductions on modernist and contemporary architecture and is regarded as one of the most renowned architectural historians and theorists. Frampton has authored a number of important works including: “Modern Architecture: A Critical History” (1980; revised 1985, 1992, and 2007, and translated in 13 different languages); “Towards a Critical Regionalism” (1983, essay); “Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture” (1995); “American Masterworks” (1995, 2008); “Le Corbusier” (2001); “Labour, Work and Architecture” (2002, collection of essays); and “A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form” (2015).

Frampton has won various awards and has held a number of academic positions throughout his career. Besides the Berlage Institute and Università della Svizzera italiana, Frampton has worked as a visiting professor at the following universities: the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (1974; 1995); the University of Houston School of Architecture, Texas (1983); the University of Naples School of Architecture, Naples (1986; 1995); the University of Palermo, Sicily (1987; 1989-1990); and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (1995). From 1993-2006, Frampton served as Director of the PhD Program in Architecture (Theory and History) at Columbia University.

Frampton has also been a member of several architectural juries and professional associations, including the Architectural Association (1950-1990), the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Registration Council of the United Kingdom (1956-1999), Berlage Institute Amsterdam (1990-1999), International Committee of Architectural Critics (1993-1995), The Architectural League (1993-2008), and the Class of the Arts of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (2010-2011).

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointement only. Digital material in this fonds has not been processed and must be disk imaged for access. Researchers may request access to digital materials by contacting Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca. Audiovisual recordings must be digitized for access. Researchers may request access to audiovisual materials by contacting Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • Gift of Kenneth Frampton

Custodial history

The Kenneth Frampton fonds was donated to the Canadian Centre for Architecture on May 19, 2016 by Kenneth Frampton. A subsequent addition was made in April 2017. Prior to its transfer to the CCA, the Kenneth Frampton fonds was stored in three different locations: the Schermerhorn building, Columbia University; the Avery Building, Columbia University; and Kolbowski’s studio in Brooklyn, New York. From August to November 2015, a researcher began processing a portion of the Kenneth Frampton fonds.

Archivist's note

  • The Kenneth Frampton fonds was processed by Patricia Di Palma from April to December 2017.


New York (City) New York United States

Credit line

Kenneth Frampton fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal;
Gift of Kenneth Frampton / Don de Kenneth Frampton

Language of material

Mostly English, French , Italian , Spanish


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