John Ochsendorf organized Palaces for The People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces, a National Building Museum exhibition on view in Washington, D.C., to January 20, 2014. The exhibition includes large-scale photos of architectural projects, original drawings and patents, scale models, construction demonstrations and more to illustrate the vaulted tiled ceilings built between 1881 and 1962 by the Guastavino father and son team in many landmark buildings throughout the States. This follows the publication of Ochsendorf’s book Guastavino Valuting: The Art of Structural Tile, Princeton Architectural Press, 2010, which describes in text, color photographs and diagrams the history and the patented construction technology of the Guastavinos’ spectacular tiled vaults and domes.
Ochsendorf is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and architecture at MIT. He received a B.S. from Cornell University in 1996, an MSE in civil engineering from Princeton in 1998 and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in engineering in 2002. He was elected a MacArthur Fellow in 2008 for his work to preserve historic structures and to reinterpret ancient technologies for contemporary use, ranging from hand-woven fiber suspension bridges to barrel-vaulted churches.
Ochsendorf stays connected to Princeton’s School of Engineering by serving as a member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Advisory Council.