John Hejduk

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John Hejduk
Born 1929; New York, N.Y.
At Great Buildings



  • Foundation Building Renovation, at Cooper Union, New York, New York, 1975.   Archiplanet page
  • Berlin Tower and Garden Apartments, at Berlin, Germany, 1988.   Archiplanet page
  • Civic Center, at Santiago de Compostela, Spain, with Antonio San Martin G. de Azcon, 2000.   Archiplanet page


(b. New York, N.Y. 1929; d. New York, N.Y. 3 July 2000)

John Hejduk was born in New York in 1929. He studied at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture and at the University of Cincinnati. He graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design with an Masters in Architecture in 1953. He worked in several architectural offices in New York including the office of I. M. Pei and Partners and the office of A.M. Kinney and Associates. He established his own practice in New York in 1965.

Hejduk explored the harmonic possibilities of architecture in his work. He resolutely pursued a narrowly defined set of themes and variations. At first, he studied cubes, grids, and frames. Next he examined square grids placed within diagonal containers with an occasional curving wall. Finally, he evolved into experiments with flat planes and curved masses in various combinations and colors. His architecture in the early stages was brutalist in style.

Hejduk created attractive objects with little or no socially redeeming value. He detached himself from context, materials, structure, and climate to create artistic environments. In doing so he often ignored the pragmatic considerations that share no part in their exotic surroundings.

While his renderings easily side step the more utilitarian issues of design, his buildings may have failed to overcome the realities of pedestrian requirements. He seemed to be content to allow his explorations to be ends in themselves.

Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA 680-C625. p352-354.

"Mr. Hejduk was Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art from 1975 until his retirement last month. He was an architect who largely abstained from conventional practice, and the bulk of his work consisted of theoretical projects, executed in the form of drawings that were combined into poetic, often highly personal narratives."

— Herbert Muschamp, John Hejduk, an Architect And Educator, Dies at 71 (registration required), New York Times, July 6, 2000.

"Like many gifted architects, he was a contradictory figure: a solitary artist who chose to work in a highly social form of art. But he had a particular way of living out the contradiction. Instead of constructing social spaces with bricks and mortar, he fashioned one from ideas and emotions and peopled it with students and faculty members of the school he led for 25 years. "

— Herbert Muschamp, Solitary Performer on a Crowded Stage (registration required), New York Times, July 16, 2000.


"Postcard from New York", by Michael J. Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 129, 2003.0108, pD1.1.

"In Memory of John Hejduk, 1929-2000", by Michael J. Crosbie, ArchitectureWeek No. 10, 2001.0719, pN1.1.

John Hejduk, Kim Shkapich (Editor). Adjusting Foundations. Monacelli Press, October 1995. ISBN 1885254067. — Available at

External Links

John Hejduk, an Architect And Educator, Dies at 71 (registration required) — Herbert Muschamp, New York Times, July 6, 2000.

Solitary Performer on a Crowded Stage (registration required) — Herbert Muschamp, , New York Times, July 16, 2000.

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