The Prince of Wales' Institute of Architecture in London closed its doors two years ago, but a similar venture is being reborn on this side of the pond. In May, Andres Duany, Leon Krier, and Ray Gindroz—architects well-known in the New Urbanism movement—launched the Institute for Traditional Architecture.
"The energy and momentum of what had been going on in London needed to be perpetuated," says ITA executive director Richard John, the former director of the Prince of Wales' Institute. "The Classical tradition, regional vernaculars, and local crafts are in increasing danger of being lost."
Based in Miami, the ITA is the brainchild of professors at the University of Miami School of Architecture, though it operates as a legally autonomous organization.
It seeks out three types of constituents: architecture grads wanting a remedial course in Traditional design; those in related disciplines, such as landscape architects, builders, and craftspeople; and career changers who need a portfolio to get into a university program or to be considered for advanced standing. For one full year of study, which costs $6,000, the ITA offers a certificate in Traditional design, but no formal education credits.
Paced to allow students to hold down full-time jobs, the year-long program combines local apprenticeships, long-distance learning via the Internet, and three on-site symposia. Students will work with a network of local tutors on nine juried projects throughout the year. Then, says John, "students will send in their work, we'll assemble a jury in Miami, and students will log on and present their projects."
The network of tutors also amounts to a kind of support group for Traditional-minded architects who might be excluded from teaching in universities, John adds. "It gives them an opportunity to come together with like-minded practitioners."
For more information, call 786.268.0147 or go to the ITA's Web site: http://intranet.arc.miami.edu/rjohn/ita.html.