Gabriel Guevrekian (1900-70) was professor of architecture (1949-68) and professor emeritus (1968-70) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Department of Architecture. Active in European avant-garde architecture from the 1920s to the 1940s, he specialized in industrial design and urban planning and was renowned for his designs that combined Persian and modern Western influences.
Guevrekian was born in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey) to Armenian parents Mariame and Simon Guevrekian and grew up in Tehran, Iran. He studied architecture at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Arts) in Vienna, Austria, with Oskar Strnad (1879-1935) and Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956), graduating in 1921. In 1922, he moved to Paris where he was associated with avant-garde peers, including Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886-1945), Le Corbusier (1887-1965), Andre Lurcat (1894-1970), Sigfried Giedion (1888-1968), and Henri Sauvage (1873-1932).
A registered architect in France and England during his career, Guevrekian became known for his architectural and garden designs, including Jardin d'eau et de lumiere, a temporary garden for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (1925), Villa Heim in Paris (1927), and two private residences at Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna (1930-1932). He was an architecture jury member for the Exposition internationale des arts decoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris (1925). With Le Corbusier and Giedion, Guevrekian founded the Congres International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in 1928 and was a founding member of the French journal L'Architecture d'aujourd'hui (1930). His publications include Hotels and Sanatoria (1930) and Batiments industriels (1931).
As chief architect of Tehran from 1933 to 1937, Guevrekian designed public buildings such as the Tehran Officersâ?? Club and the Military School amphitheater in addition to many private residences. In 1940, he worked on the development of pre-fabricated housing and taught in SaarbrÃ¼cken. Guevrekian ceased work from 1940 to 1944, because he refused to work for the Nazis and the Vichy government in France. After World War II, Guevrekian worked with Georges-Henri Pingusson (1894-1978) on rebuilding Saarbrucken and resumed teaching architecture. He moved to the United States in 1948 and taught at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (1948-49) and UIUC (1949-68).
Guevrekian became a citizen of the United States in 1955. He retired from UIUC in 1968 and returned to France. He died in Antibes on October 29, 1970.
Wikipedia, s.v. "Gabriel Guevrekian," accessed April 15, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Guevrekian.
Encyclopaedia Iranica, s.v. "Gabriel Guevrekian," accessed April 15, 2020, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/guevrekian.