|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
Table of Contents
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Series I: Personal Papers
Series I: Project Records
Series II: Correspondence
Series V: Faculty Papers
Series VI: Publications
At a Glance
The collection is arranged in nine series: Project Records, Correspondence, Professional Papers, Writings and Notes, Faculty Papers, Publications, Personal Papers, Artworks, and Reference.
Scope and Content
This collection is composed primarily of project drawings and photographs, extensive personal and professional correspondence, Neumann's writings and unpublished research materials, student artworks, travel photographs, papers related to Neumann's faculty positions and group memberships, and publications related to his projects. The bulk of the material dates from the 1950's and 1960's and concerns projects and research undertaken in Israel. The collection is arranged in nine series: Project Records, Correspondence, Professional Papers, Writings and Notes, Faculty Papers, Publications, Personal Papers, Artworks, and Reference.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Alfred Neumann architectural records and papers, 1900-1985, (bulk 1950s-1960s), Department 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
This collection was processed by Lauren Murtagh (Graduate Intern) under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2012.
2012-04-03 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Alfred Neumann was born in Vienna on January 26th, 1900 to Hermine Hikl and Sigmund Neumann, a furniture maker. They moved to Brünn (now Brno) in the 1910's, where Neumann attended the Deutsche Technische Hochschule from 1919 to 1922 (there he received some training in the fine arts as well as architecture). He subsequently attended the Meisterschule für Architektur at the Akademie der bildenden Kunste in Vienna (1922-1925), where he studied under Peter Behrens and was awarded the Behrens Preis in 1924. Upon completion of his studies in Vienna, Neumann moved to Paris where he studied under Auguste Perret at the Atelier du Palais de Bois (1926-1932). During the 1920's, Neumann also worked for French architect Charles Siclis (1925) and for Peter Behrens in Berlin (1927) (projects during this period include cinemas, metro stations, department stores, and housing). Neumann was additionally employed in Paris by Ali Tur, architect of the Ministère des Colonies, under whom he worked on Parisian housing developments and the reconstruction of Guadeloupe after a 1928 hurricane. Later that year Neumann traveled to Barcelona to study the work of Antoni Gaudí.
In 1928 and 1929, Neumann worked in Algiers for the architect Jacques Guiauchain on projects for the Bureaux Administratifs du Palais du Gouvernement and other civic and municipal projects. In the early 1930's, Neumann worked in the offices of various architects in Paris, including Pierre Forestier, Jean Ginsberg, Denis Honegger, Berthold Lubetkin, Auguste Perret, Georges-Henri Pingusson, and Maurice Rotival (projects of this period include housing, schools, and recreation facilities). During the 1930's, Neumann was a member of the Parisian artists' groups Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Création, avant-garde groups which promoted abstraction in the arts.
Between 1934 and 1936 Neumann worked for the architectural firm of Kallenbach, Kennedy, and Furner in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, on residential and commercial projects. After a brief period in Paris, Neumann returned to Brno and practiced independently, producing mainly residential buildings, interior designs, and furniture designs for private clients. In February of 1945, Neumann was deported from Prague to the concentration camp Terezín (Theresienstadt); he was freed in May of that year. After the war, Neumann worked for the Country Research and Planning Institute in Brno (1945-1948). In 1947, Neumann attended CIAM VI in Bridgewater, England, with a Czech delegation, where he presented planning studies for the Moravian region of Czechoslovakia (other architectural groups with which Neumann was involved at various points in his career include Groupe Espace, Groupe d'Etudes d'Architecture Mobile, Japan Architects Association, and La Societé des Architectes de la Région de Québec).
Neumann immigrated to Israel in 1949, where he initially worked in Jerusalem for the architect and town planner Richard Kaufmann. Between 1950 and 1953, Neumann was employed by the Israeli government to work on regional and urban planning projects (notably for Jerusalem and the town of Beit-Shemesh). In 1952, Neumann became Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) in Haifa. He later became Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning (1953-1960) and was awarded the Mary Hill Swope Chair of Architecture (1961). He planned a new curriculum incorporating studies on human biology, psychology, morphology, and ecology in keeping with his researches on the humanization of architecture. In 1956, Neumann published the book L'Humanisation de L'Espace: Le Système M-Phi, which principally addresses questions of modular coordination and theories of proportion.
In 1959, Neumann established an architectural practice with his former Technion students Zvi Hecker and Eldar Sharon. That year he also undertook a round-the-world trip, including visits to numerous cities in India, Southeast Asia, the United States, and Europe. During these later years, Neumann also explored the notion of 'space-packing' systems as three-dimensional arrangements of geometric spatial units. His major projects in Israel include the Bat Yam City Hall and Civic Center, holiday camps at Achziv, Michmoret, and Kiryat Yam, a housing village for Arab refugees at Ein-Rafa, Dubiner Apartment House in Ramat Gan, the Danciger Building for the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion, Beit Zayit Youth Camp and Restaurant, and the Synagogue at the Officer's School on Training Base I in Mitzpe-Ramon. Competitions Neumann engaged in during this period include those for Netanya City Hall, the Ashdod City Center, an Auschwitz memorial, and the Amsterdam Town Hall. Many of these projects were considered experimental by Neumann's contemporaries. Neumann's work gained some international exposure during his life through publication of dozens of articles in leading professional periodicals, including L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui, Domus, Architectural Design, Zodiac, Arts and Architecture, and others.
In 1962 Neumann married Naomi Gottesman (1939-1988), one of his students at the Technion. Their daughter Eva-Marie was born later that year. From 1962 to 1963, and from 1965, Neumann taught at the Ecole d'Architecture at the Université Laval in Quebec. Neumann died in Quebec on October 23, 1968.
Segal, Rafael. "Unit, Pattern, Site: The Space Packed Architecture of Alfred Neumann, 1949-1968." Diss. Princeton University, 2011. Abstract.
Alfred Neumann Fonds, compiled by Eva-Marie Neumann.
Curriculum Vitae, Alfred Neumann