They Must Have Enjoyed Building Here: Reyner Banham and Buffalo

Symposium / Exhibition Opening

Reyner Banham standing outside Bethune Hall with a number of students during the summer of 1977.

Reyner Banham (pointing) and his summer class students, 1977. © Bonnie Foit-Albert

"They must have enjoyed building here: Reyner Banham and Buffalo" engages with the intellectual legacy of Reyner Banham, focusing in particular on the Buffalo and Niagara region.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

5 PM: Exhibition Opening, Hayes Hall Atrium Gallery
6 PM: Symposium, Hayes Hall Room 403

Watch the entire symposium on YouTube

Symposium Participants

  • Ludovico Centis / Architect, event organizer and 2013-14 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow
  • Bonnie  Foit-Albert / Architect and Alum
  • Curt Gambetta / PhD Candidate / Princeton University and 2011-12 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow
  • Hadas Steiner / Architectural Historian / University at Buffalo


The exhibition is comprised of two types of material, drawing multiple connections in both space and time. The first has been produced by students of the School of Architecture and Planning following from a seminar led by Ludovico Centis. The seminar reflected specifically on the innovative research and teaching agenda that Banham undertook in Buffalo between 1976 and 1980, which was characterized by extensive field research and forward-thinking subjects such as the Building Life Cycles program. Drawing from fieldwork, readings and open discussion, students then composed an essay dealing with the selected topic and provided additional visual evidence to sustain their research hypothesis through the use of a different set of techniques: storyboards, technical drawings, views, models, photographs, and videos. The individual work was then refined and completed throughout Spring 2019.

The second type of material in the show is archival– selected from diverse sources, ranging from academic institutions such as the UB Archives to the private collections of Roger Conover (former executive editor of MIT Press and editor of two books by Banham that engage with Buffalo and its important architectural heritage); Bonnie Foit-Albert (a former UB professor of architecture who collaborated with Banham and co-founded the Buildings Life Cycles program with him); and Hadas Steiner (an architectural historian at UB who recently reflected on the photographic documentation conducted by Reyner Banham while in Buffalo). The different origins of these documents, letters and visual materials reflect the dual nature of historical research. On the one hand, such research relies on well-known and accessible archives. On the other hand, research relies on a fluid network of personal connections cultivated over time.