Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections (Columbia University)

Adolf Loos, Tristan Tzara House, 1925-1926. Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University Rights: © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Bildrecht, Vienna

Artstor has collaborated with Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University (GSAPP) and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library to release more than 20,000 images of architectural plans and sections and related materials in the Digital Library, making this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online for the first time.

The collection is based on GSAPP's history of modern architecture curriculum and focuses primarily on modernism, with a few earlier and later projects spanning from 1871 to 2013. Comprising more than 2,000 projects from 60 countries, the majority of them of built works, the Plans and Sections project also includes documentation of unbuilt projects and of competitions such as the Chicago Tribune Tower and the Lenin Library. 

In reaching this agreement, Carole Ann Fabian, Director of Avery Library, expressed her enthusiasm: "Avery is thrilled to have worked with GSAPP and Artstor to develop this core collection of plans and sections for teaching the history of modern architecture. Our GSAPP faculty advisors, Professors Mary McLeod and Kenneth Frampton, have shaped the record of this history through their scholarship and decades of teaching here at Columbia. Their curatorial guidance, Avery’s incomparable collections and Artstor’s extraordinary Digital Library platform, have made this project possible. Our collaboration fulfills a critical need for a shared, authoritative collection of key works that document the masterworks of modern architecture, and is now available to the Artstor community."

This project marks the second collaboration between Artstor and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. With the support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant, the two organizations also pioneered the creation of the Built Works Registry (BWR), a community-generated and freely available registry of architectural works and the built environment. 

Artstor has also partnered  with Columbia University on releasing two other architecture collections: one of photographs of traditional and contemporary architecture from the collection of the Visual Media Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology, as well as a selection of interactive Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) panoramas of monuments and sites. 

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University in New York City is regarded as one of the leading architecture schools in the world. It is home to PhD programs in Architecture and Urban Planning, the Masters of Architecture, and Masters of Science programs in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Historic Preservation, and Real Estate Development.

The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library holds a superlative and comprehensive collection relating to architecture and the fine arts. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced studies, containing more than 600,000 volumes, including 40,000 rare books, 2,300 serial titles, more than two million architectural drawings and records, and is the steward for the Columbia University art collection. Avery Library produces and publishes the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, a comprehensive listing of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archaeology, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation.