Victor Lundy was truly a sculptor of space. Using an extraordinary command of light and space, the master architect elevated traditional architecture into an art form

Born in 1923, Lundy showed an early talent for both drawing and painting. In 1939, he studied architecture following the tradition set by the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the school of fine arts in Paris. This academy exerted an enormous influence on Lundy, requiring him to start every design with an “esquisse,” or quick sketch and then organize the building into a balanced hierarchy of spaces. Lundy has said, “The Beaux Arts way of working never left me. You’d have 4 to 6 hours to come up with an initial scheme. Building a solution out of the blue. And that has never left me. Having confidence in initial reactions. I’m a very instinctual designer. And I’m quick.”

“My art form all my life has been architecture. It has taken me all this time to become the maker of space that I am. My strength is drawing. When I think thoughts, I draw thoughts. I’ve been drawing, drawing, drawing all my life.”

Victor Lundy

Lundy’s college days ended in 1942 when he enlisted to fight in World War II. His wartime experiences forever changed his life when he encountered a captured Nazi architect who told Lundy that Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement, was teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. One week after the war ended, Lundy enrolled in the school, which by then was the epicenter of Modernism. At Harvard, Lundy learned a new way of designing based on the principles of European Modernism. He was encouraged to reject historical traditions and reduce a building to its essence, much like the abstract art of the postwar age.

Lundy’s ability to draw and paint landed him his first building commission. In 1951, he moved to Sarasota, Florida, along with some of his contemporaries — the catalysts for the trailblazing Modern architecture revolution that would happen there. The exuberant shapes of his architecture expressed the optimism and technical possibilities of the mid-20th and quickly secured his place as the new director for Modern architecture.

“The house in Aspen is one of my favorite buildings. I spent 18 months working on that house. It’s a garden house. We can see the sky, the mountaintops. That building has really worked. It’s been nominated for listing in the National Register. In fact, the city of Aspen is almost insisting on that.”

Victor Lundy

Between 1945 - 1975 an informal network of Modern architects, including Victor Lundy, arrived to the bucolic town of Aspen and established what would become a center of experimental Modern residential design. Today, as a new generation explores the Modern architecture of mid-century America, they look to Victor Lundy’s work as it will forever embody the truth of that era.