Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

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

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

Bib ID 7043770 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973 ; Bakema, J. B (Jacob Berend), 1914-1981 ; Bodiansky, Vladimir, 1894-1966 ; Candilis, Georges ; Cavaglieri, Giorgio, 1911-2007 ; Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996 ; Cumming, Roger ; Josic, Alexis ; De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005 ; Feld, Gabriel ; Filliou, Robert ; Le Corbusier, 1887-1965 ; Perriand, Charlotte ; Pfeufer, Joachim ; Schiedhelm, Manfred ; Smithson, Alison, 1928-1993 ; Smithson, Peter, 1923-2003 ; Soltan, Jerzy ; Stirling, James (James Frazer) ; Weintraub, Myles ; Candilis-Josic-Woods ; Fluxus (Group of artists) ; New York (N.Y.). City Planning Commission ; Penguin (Firm) ; Team 10 ; International Congresses for Modern Architecture ; Triennale di Milano (Location of meeting: (Milan, Italy).)
Title Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers, 1923-2008, bulk 1948-1973
Physical Description 45 manuscript boxes; 6 print boxes; ;
Language(s) Materials are in English and French.
Access

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 email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This material is arranged in 6 series: Personal Papers; Project Records; Professional Papers; Faculty Papers; Office Records; and Additional Donations.

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.

General Note

Materials are in English, French, German, and Italian

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on Access

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 email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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. Located in the Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

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.

Revision Description

2009-07-07 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found 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 catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
35mm color slides Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural reprographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audiocassettes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bound volumes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Carbon typescript papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Film negatives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Holograph papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscript notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Maps Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mixed media drawings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic transparencies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Printed papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Typescript papers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Apartment houses -- France -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architects -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architects -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural firms -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Algeria -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- France -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- France -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Germany -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Germany -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Morocco -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Morocco -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bodiansky, Vladimir, 1894-1966 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Candilis, Georges Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Candilis-Josic-Woods Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
City planning Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Convents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
De Carlo, Giancarlo, 1919-2005 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dwellings -- Design and construction Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fluxus (Group of artists) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Freie Universität Berlin -- : Buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harvard University. Graduate School of Design Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Highway planning -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
International Congresses for Modern Architecture Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Josic, Alexis Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Le Corbusier, 1887-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New towns -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Perriand, Charlotte Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Planned communities -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schiedhelm, Manfred Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Smithson, Alison, 1928-1993 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Smithson, Peter, 1923-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Team 10 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Triennale di Milano (Location of meeting: (Milan, Italy).) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Unité d'habitation (Marseille, France) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Villes nouvelles -- France Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Yale University. School of Art and Architecture Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

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.