Architecture People & Places


Robert Venturi Retires • Philadelphia

Fire Station Number Four (1966), in Columbus, Indiana, designed by Robert Venturi. Photo: Don DiBernardo/Artifice Images
The firm Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, Inc. –– the contemporary incarnation of the architectural practice from which architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown have produced buildings such as Fire Station Number Four (1966), and Gordon Wu Hall (1983) –– announced that as of July 2012, Mr. Venturi has retired. Venturi, who celebrated his 87th birthday on June 25, has practiced for 50 years. 

According to the firm, Ms. Scott Brown will continue to publish and present her work.

Although Venturi designed many buildings throughout his career  –– including the Vanna Venturi House (1964) for his mother –– his theories have probably created more impact. Based on the philosophy of 'complexity and contradiction', he reassessed architecture to stress the importance of multiple meanings in appreciating design.

The firm, which is now under new leadership, has also been renamed VSBA, LLC.

Daniel K. McCoubrey, president and principal, together with fellow principal Nancy Rogo Trainer, will lead the firm going forward.

Venturi and Scott Brown designed Gordon Wu Hall (1983), a student dining and recreation building on the campus of Princeton University, in Princeton, New Jersey. Photo: Tom Bernard
Nancy Rogo Trainer (left) and Daniel McCoubrey are the principals now managing VSBA, LLC. Photo: Courtesy VSBA
According to the firm, Dan McCoubrey was principal-in-charge for the Curtis Institute of Music’s new Lenfest Hall and for additions and renovations at the Allentown Art Museum. He recently directed a series of projects for Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, including a new research library. He has led projects for Penn, Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, the Barnes Foundation, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, among others.  A graduate of Penn’s School of Architecture, he has taught at Drexel since 1986, lectures widely, and is a member of the Philadelphia Historical Commission Architectural Review Committee.

Nancy Rogo Trainer was recently principal-in-charge for renovation of historic Fay House at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, where she directed renovation of Schlesinger Library and campus planning. She led campus plans for Villanova, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford and designed projects at Harvard Divinity School and Bryn Mawr, among others.  A graduate of Penn’s School of Architecture, Nancy teaches at Drexel, lectures extensively, and is a member of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.
Venturi gained early notoriety for the  Vanna Venturi House (1964), a home he designed for his mother in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylviania. Photo: Kevin Matthews/Artifice Images
VSBA's work and main public web presence is still accessible through:
The considerable catalog of information about and work by Venturi and Scott Brown has been moved to a new site at:

Great Buildings Designed by Venturi and Scott Brown:

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