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Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers, 1923-2008 (bulk 1948-1973)

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Preferred Citation

Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers,1923-2008 (bulk 1948-1973), Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

An American architect and urban planner, Shadrach Woods was a student of Le Corbusier and worked extensively throughout North Africa, France, Germany and New York City on projects ranging from low-cost housing developments to university campuses. Also highly regarded as a critic and theorist, Woods taught at Harvard and Yale and lectured and published widely. The collection represents the span of Woods’ life and career through papers, photographs, architectural drawings, writings, and published materials. A small group of materials documents his childhood and education through personal papers and photographs. However, the bulk of the collections relates to his professional work and collaborations.

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973.
Title:Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers, 1923-2008 (bulk 1948-1973)
Physical description:41 linear feet of papers; approx. 3650 photographic images; approx. 2289 drawings.
Language(s): Materials are in English and French.
Access: This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This material is arranged in nine series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The collection represents the span of Woods' life and career through papers, photographs, architectural drawings, writings, and published materials. A small group of materials documents his childhood and education through personal papers and photographs. However, the bulk of the collections relates to his professional work and collaborations. Black-and-white snapshots portray Woods with Le Corbusier and Candilis on the worksite of the Marseille Unité (1948-1952). Architectural drawings relating to ATBAT-Afrique projects, most notably the buildings in the Carrières Centrales district of Casablanca (1951- 1953), are complemented by documents relating to housing projects in Iran (1956) and the Caribbean (1956-1960). The award-winning schematic proposal for the Opération Million housing competition (1954) in France is represented, as well as drawings and photographs of suburban projects built on this model throughout the country (Le Blanc-Mesnil, 1956; Bobigny, 1959-1960; Marseille La Viste, 1959).

The firm's first experiment in extending an existing city is represented by drawings, photographs and slides related to Bagnols-sur-Cèze (1956-1960) in the south of France. Drawings and photographs of models for similar but unrealized proposals for Caen, France (1961), and Bilbao, Spain (1962), supplement Woods' manuscripts exploring his concept of the "stem" as a system of urban organization. The "stem" achieved fullest expression in built form in the design of Le Mirail in Toulouse (1960-1964), another urban extension project represented in the collection through drawings and photographs.

German projects represented in the collection include the proposal for the reconstruction of the Römerberg quarter of central Frankfurt (1963) and the mat building for the Berlin Free University (1963-1973), along with an apartment block in the Märkisches Viertel district of Berlin (1967-1972) and a competition entry for a housing development in Karlsruhe (1970). Many of these projects utilized the concept of the "web," an organizational system developed by Woods in several manuscripts held in the collection.

Other materials related to assorted projects in France during this period include drawings from a proposal for a ski resort in the Vallées des Belleville (1962), a collaboration with Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé; drawings and photographs of the Benedictine convent built in St. Julien L'Ars, near Poitiers (1964-1965); portfolios related to a schematic plan for the development of the Parisian suburbs, known as Paris Nord (1965); presentation panels and booklets from a project for regional development in Bresse-Revermont (1967), identified by the acronym CENECA; and drawings and panels from a proposed renovation for the Bonne Nouvelle quarter of Paris (1967).

The collection features materials related to the controversial 14th Triennale di Milano, held in 1968 with the theme of "the greater number," including drawings related to Woods' installation and objects and panels from the exhibition. Drafts of exhibit texts supplement manuscripts for lectures, articles and his book, The Man in the Street (1975), providing a portrait of Woods as a teacher, thinker and writer. Correspondence, clippings and audio recordings document his relationships with institutions ranging from CIAM and Team X to Harvard and Yale Universities to the Fluxus movement in contemporary art. Books from his personal library provide a glimpse of Woods' personal and professional interests, including the nascent environmentalist movement and the precarious state of the contemporary city.

Woods' final years in New York City were devoted to preparing a study for the planned Lower Manhattan Expressway (1967-1970), proposing the transformation of SoHo into a light manufacturing district (1970), and designing low-cost housing, including a development at Frederick Douglass Circle (1970). These final projects appear in diagrams, drawings and draft texts spread throughout the collection.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 This collection is available for use by qualified readers by appointment in the Dept. of Archives & Drawings' Reading Room, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The majority of this collection is maintained in off-site storage and must retrieved with advance notification. For further information and to make an appointment to use this collection, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.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. 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

Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers,1923-2008 (bulk 1948-1973), Dept. 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 reprocessed in 2015 by Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For legacy inventory information, please contact the department.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 7, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2009-07-07 File created.

CLIO ID: 7043770 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.

Additional Creators (Personal Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Bakema, J. B. (Jacob Berend), 1914-1981.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Blake, Peter, 1920-2006.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bodiansky, Vladimir, 1894-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Candilis, Georges.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cavaglieri, Giorgio, 1911-2007.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Cumming, Roger.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Josic, Alexis.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Feld, Gabriel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Filliou, Robert.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Perriand, Charlotte.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pfeufer, Joachim.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rudolph, Paul, 1918-1997.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Schiedhelm, Manfred.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smithson, Alison Margaret.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smithson, Peter, 1923-2003.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soltan, Jerzy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Stirling, James (James Frazer)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Weintraub, Myles.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Additional Creators (Corporate Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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ArchiveGRID
Candilis-Josic-Woods.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fluxus (Group of artists)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.).--City Planning Commission.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Penguin (Firm)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Team 10.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Additional Creators (Meeting Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
International Congress for Modern Architecture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Triennale di Milano.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Corporate Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Candilis-Josic-Woods.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Team 10.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Freie Universität Berlin--Buildings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Harvard University.--Graduate School of Design.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Unité d'habitation (Marseille, France)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Yale University.--School of Art and Architecture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
International Congress for Modern Architecture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subject (Meeting Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Triennale di Milano.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Personal Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Bodiansky, Vladimir, 1894-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Candilis, Georges.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Josic, Alexis.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Perriand, Charlotte.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Schiedhelm, Manfred.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smithson, Alison Margaret.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smithson, Peter, 1923-2003.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects (Geographic Name)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Le Mirail (Toulouse, France)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Alps, French (France)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Berlin (Germany)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hamburg (Germany)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Karlsruhe (Germany)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Marseille (France)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Martinique--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paris (France)--Buildings, structures, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
SoHo (New York, N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subects (Topic)

HeadingCUL Archives:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Fluxus (Group of artists)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Apartment houses--France--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architects--France.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architects--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Algeria--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--France--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Germany--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Morocco--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--United States--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--France--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Germany--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Morocco--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architectural firms--France.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
City planning.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
College buildings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Convents.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dwellings--Design and construction.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Highway planning--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Planned communities--Designs and plans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Villes nouvelles--France.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New towns--France.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Types of Material

HeadingCUL Archives:
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CUL Collections:
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Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Correspondence.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Typescript papers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Carbon typescript papers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Holograph papers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Printed papers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bound volumes.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Manuscript notes.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographic prints.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Film negatives.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photographic transparencies.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
35mm color slides.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architectural reprographic prints.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mixed media drawings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Audio cassettes.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Maps.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

History

Shadrach Woods was an American architect and urban planner. A student of Le Corbusier, he worked extensively throughout North Africa, France, Germany and New York City on architectural projects ranging from low-cost housing developments to university campuses. Also highly regarded as a critic and theorist, Woods taught at Harvard and Yale and lectured and published widely.

Born in Yonkers, New York, Woods was schooled in engineering at New York University and in literature and philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. Though never trained as an architect, he joined the Paris office of Le Corbusier in 1948. Assigned to the Unité d'Habitation project then under construction in Marseille, Woods collaborated with the Greek architect George Candilis, with whom he would later form a lasting partnership.

With Candilis and the engineer Vladimir Bodiansky, Woods designed and built housing throughout North Africa during his tenure as head of the Casablanca office of ATBAT-Afrique. Architectural solutions developed during the course of this work led to their winning proposal for a low-cost housing competition in France in 1954. Woods and Candilis joined with the Yugoslavian architect Alexis Josic to create the firm Candilis-Josic-Woods in 1956.

Among the firm's major built projects were the development of the quarter of Le Mirail in Toulouse in France and, with Manfred Schiedhelm, the Free University in Berlin. Simultaneously, Woods participated in the proceedings of Team X, a group of architects that emerged from the meetings of CIAM in the postwar years. He published numerous essays on urban themes, including explanations of his concepts of "stem" and "web," and participated in the Milan Triennale at the invitation of Italian architect and fellow Team X member Giancarlo de Carlo.

After the breakup of his partnership with Candilis and Josic in 1969, Woods settled in New York City. He taught and lectured at architecture schools throughout the United States. He also continued to work as an architect and urban planner until his untimely death in 1973. His book, The Man in the Street: A Polemic on Urbanism, was published posthumously by Penguin in 1975.

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