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Klaus Herdeg papers, 1963-1992

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Preferred Citation

Klaus Herdeg papers, 1963-1992, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

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Summary Information

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Herdeg, Klaus.
Title:Klaus Herdeg papers, 1963-1992
Physical description:10.5 linear feet and 700+ drawings (in 10 archival boxes, 1 manuscript box, 1 oversize box, 33 oversize folders, and 11 rolls)
Language(s):In English
Access: The bulk of this collection is stored in Columbia University Libraries' off-site storage facility. Materials will be recalled by request. This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is made up of three series:

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Description

Scope and Content

This collection is composed primarily of correspondence, memoranda, course material, photographs, drawings and slides. Much of the material pertains to Herdeg’s career as a professor at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning as well as his career as a professor and subsequent department head at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Many of the photographs are proofs used in Herdeg’s Formal Structure in Indian Architecture and Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan. The basis for the series and subseries order was developed from Herdeg’s own groupings. For the majority of the collection, Herdeg’s folder titles have been maintained and the material has been arranged chronologically.

Series I: Faculty Papers

Series I is comprised of three subseries: Cornell University, Columbia University and Design Studio and Travel in Mainland China. The first subseries contains minutes to faculty meetings, department memoranda and course material. There are also numerous copies of the Cornell Daily Sun with articles surrounding the mounting racial tension at Cornell University in the later 1960s, specifically the Willard Straight Hall Takeover by members of the Afro-American Society in 1969 and the presumed arson of the Africana Studies and Research Center in 1970. There is also newspaper coverage and department correspondence surrounding the unwarranted dismissal of faculty members from Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. The subseries also contains material relating to symposiums held at Cornell and a large collection of student work from a 1971 summer session taught by Herdeg. Folders largely retain their original contents.

The second subseries contains course material from Herdeg’s work as a professor and subsequent department head at Columbia University. The material is primarily in folders by course with much of material corresponding to studio courses. Class rosters, syllabi, and assignment sheets are common as are lecture notes. The material is arranged chronologically with much of it either from the Fall or Spring semester of an academic year.

The third subseries contains material corresponding to an exchange program Herdeg developed with Tianjin University for architecture students. The material is largely bound reports of each summer program consisting of student work, however a collection of Chinese travel publications is also present. The material was separated from Herdeg’s other work at Columbia University due its volume, specific subject matter and the fact that Herdeg organized and developed the programs outside of the prescribed GSAPP curriculum.

Series II: Formal Structure in Indian Architecture

Series II is comprised of material relating to Herdeg’s traveling exhibit and later publication Formal Structure in Indian Architecture. The research for both the exhibit and publication was conducted in 1965 when Herdeg traveled to the north of Indian with funds garnered from Cornell University’s Eidlitz Fellowship. In his application for the fellowship Herdeg wrote he wished to travel to India to conduct research on Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, he instead made an in-depth study of Hindu and Islamic architecture in the north west of India. The exhibition developed from Herdeg’s study toured throughout Universities in North America and Western Europe for thirty years. The material in this series contains Herdeg’s travel diary and a series of correspondence conducted immediately before, during, and immediately after his travels. Also present are flyers for the exhibition, correspondence about ordering the book produced form the exhibition folios and correspondence regarding the subsequent reprinting of the book.

Series III: Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan

Series III is comprised of material relating to Herdeg’s traveling exhibit and later publication Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan. The research for both the exhibit and later publication was conducted in 1975 when Herdeg traveled to Iran and present-day day Uzbekistan with funds garnered through Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Wheelwright Prize. This series is primarily comprised of material relating to the exhibit but also contains draft pages of the book, which was published in 1990. Also present are Herdeg’s base drawings and sketches with dimensions of buildings he surveyed in Iran and present-day Uzbekistan.

Series IV: Professional Papers

Series IV is comprised of material relating to Herdeg’s career outside of academia. The series contains information on design competitions Herdeg entered including a student housing competition for ETH Zurich, a competition to design a new city hall building for Amsterdam, and a competition to design a new headquarters for the PAX Life Insurance Company. There is also work conducted by Herdeg for RP&M Steiger Architects in which Herdeg studied and analyzed the growth patterns of small suburban towns surrounding Zurich. The remainder of the material is largely devoted to Herdeg’s work for the Landmarks Conservancy in designing an adaptive reuse scheme for the Federal Office Building (FOB), also known as the Federal Archive building. The repurpose of the building, located in the Greenwich Village, was entrusted to the Landmarks Conservancy in the 1970s by the US General Services Administration. The Conservancy directed the project: conducting a feasibility study, consulting with federal, state and city agencies and the local community board; exploring legal and economic issues and selecting a developer. Also present is material surrounding Herdeg’s study and analysis of Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mariea and blueprints for a studio Herdeg designed for Friedel Dzubas in Massachusetts.

Series V: Visual Material

Series V is divided into two subseries: Photographs and Negatives, and Slides. Throughout the entire collection visual material was collected and organized separately as not to falsely associate it with written material. In both subseries, the material is organized by the location of its subject matter. The first subseries has a large collection of photographs form Herdeg’s travels in India, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union. The photographs and negatives of India, Iran and Uzbekistan have been identified by specific site. Other photographs and negatives present are a collection of prints of China, a majority of which are images of concession-era architecture. Also present are a collection of photographs of Herdeg’s work on the Federal Office Building for the Landmark’s Preservation Commission including photographs of the model Herdeg produced and assorted views of the building. There are also photographs of selected sites for studio projects and student work from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Preservation and Planning as well as photographs of a symposium held at Cornell in 1970. Throughout the entirety of the photograph collection Herdeg frequently taped fragments of photographs together to create panoramic views.

Subseries 2 represents a large volume of slides that pertain to a wide breadth of subject matter. A majority of the slides are photographic images of China from the trips Herdeg organized with Columbia University. The remainder of the collection is divided between slides Herdeg used for lectures, slides of student work from final pin-ups, and slides of photographs taken while traveling. Locations include sites in the Middle East, Russia, and Italy.

Series VI: Drawings

Series VI is comprised of five subseries: Formal Structure in Indian Architecture, Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan, Professional Work, Student Work, and Chinese Concession Architecture. The first subseries includes sketches on tracing paper, base drawings on velum and final ink on Mylar drawings of the buildings and monuments Herdeg visited and surveyed in India.

The second subseries includes sketches on tracing paper, base drawings on velum and final ink on Mylar drawings of the buildings and monuments Herdeg visited and surveyed in China, Iran and Uzbekistan.

The third subseries includes sketches on tracing paper, base drawings on velum and final ink on Mylar drawings of Herdeg’s entry for a Student Housing Competition for ETH Zurich.

The fourth subseries includes the final boards for Herdeg’s thesis at Cornell University.

The fifth subseries includes sketches on tracing paper, base drawings on velum and final ink on Mylar drawings of a series of concession era buildings Herdeg studied in Tianjin. Many of the buildings Herdeg documented in Tianjin are located in what was the French concession and were designed by Paul Muller. Muller was educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he studied architecture. Moving to China in the 1920s, Muller held a position at the engineering department of the Public Discussion Bureau. While in Tianjin, Muller also worked as an architect for Brossard & Mopin and served as a professor of architecture at the Tianjin College of Industry and Commerce.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 The bulk of this collection is stored in Columbia University Libraries' off-site storage facility. Materials will be recalled by request. This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Klaus Herdeg papers, 1963-1992, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Vincent Wilcke (Graduate Intern), under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2013.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 30, 2013 Finding aid written in English.
    2013-10-30 File created.

CLIO ID: 10491160 View CLIO record

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Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

All links open new windows.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Herdeg, Klaus.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Institutions)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Cornell University.--College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.--Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Tianjin da xue.--Jian zhu xi.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Topics

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Architectural historians--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architectural design--Study and teaching (Graduate)--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Asia, Central.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--China--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--India--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--India--Exhibitions.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Iran--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Islamic architecture--Iran.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Islamic architecture--Turkistan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Islamic architecture--Uzbekistan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Islamic architecture--Asia, Central.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Symbolism in architecture--India.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biography

Klaus Herdeg was born March 4th 1937 in Paris, France to Swiss parents. Educated at Steiner Schools in both Switzerland and England, Herdeg went on to earn a Bachelor of Architecture degree at Cornell University. In 1965 Herdeg was awarded Cornell University’s Eidlitz fellowship with which he traveled extensively throughout northwestern India producing measured drawings of monumental architectural complexes. This work would later be compiled and produced into a traveling exhibit and book titled Formal Structure in Indian Architecture.

Herdeg worked as an architect in both Europe and the United States, becoming a licensed architect in New York State in 1970. The majority of his career, however, was spent in academia. Herdeg began work as a professor at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in 1966. At Cornell, Herdeg witnessed a period of turmoil climaxing with the lighting of a burning cross outside Wari House, the subsequent Willard Straight Hall Takeover by members of the Afro-American Society in 1969 and the presumed arson of the Africana Studies and Research Center in 1970. Resigning from Cornell in response to the firing of four untenured faculty members on ideological grounds, Herdeg was recruited by Dean James Polshek to join the faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 1973.

Before commencing his teaching duties at Columbia, Herdeg traveled to Iran and modern day Uzbekistan with funds garnered through Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Wheelwright Prize to study Islamic architecture. Herdeg’s work in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union culminated in another traveling exhibition and book titled Formal Structure in Islamic Architecture of Iran and Turkistan published in 1990.

At Columbia University, Herdeg taught a variety of design studios as well as courses on Indian and Islamic architecture that proved to be popular with students. In 1974 Herdeg was selected by the Landmarks Conservancy to consult on a project for the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Federal Office Building, also known as the Federal Archive Building, in Greenwich Village. Herdeg’s work for the project would later be published in 1976 in a book titled Working Paper 1: Creative Analysis for the Reprogramming of Landmarks.

While a professor at Columbia, Herdeg inaugurated an exchange program for students with Tianjin University that began in 1982. The program derived from an unsolicited invitation Dean Polshek received from Tianjin University regarding the idea of an architectural exchange between the two universities. Polshek delegated the responsibility of developing and organizing the program to Herdeg, who in 1980 had traveled, as part of an expedition headed by the Agha Khan, to Kashagar and other sites in Mainland China. Through his travels Herdeg developed an interest in concession era Chinese architecture producing a number of large drawings of important early-twentieth century buildings in Tianjin. In 1984 Herdeg was made Chairman of the Division of Architecture and a year later his book The Decorated Diagram was published.

Klaus Herdeg died on February 21st 2009 in New York City.

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