Skip to content
Ashley Gardini

Ashley Gardini

Ashley Gardini is an architectural historian based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches art history and architectural history as an adjunct instructor at local community colleges. Her specialization is in twentieth-century architecture. Gardini is also an active member of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and is currently serving as a member of the SAH Board. Follow her on Twitter and Mastodon.

Taj Mahal, 2007

The Taj Mahal Today

In parallel with the recent shift in political attitudes toward Islamic heritage, India’s most famous monument may need to find a new place in history.
Eileen Gray, 1914

Eileen Gray: Architect In Her Own Right

Without formal training as an architect, Gray created magnificent designs that sensitively blended traditional craft with a modern aesthetic.
Paul R. Williams

Paul Revere Williams: An Architect of Firsts

The first African American architect licensed in the state of California, Williams blazed a trail to the (Hollywood) stars.
Barbican Towers in London

Why We Love/Hate Brutalist Architecture

Developed in response to the post-World War II housing crisis, the once celebrated Brutalism quickly became an aesthetic only an architect could love.
Denise Scott Brown 1978 © Lynn Gilbert

The Lasting Influence of Denise Scott Brown

Recognizing Scott Brown’s work is necessary for understanding American architecture in the second half of the twentieth century.
The Erechtheum

The Unusual, Unexpected Erechtheion

The Parthenon embodies the ideals of perfection Classical Greeks sought from architecture. The neighboring Erechtheion offers something else.
A diagram for Ebenezer Howard’s To-morrow, 1898

Urban Planning, Then and Now

Humans have been designing cities for millennia. California Forever is just the newest entry in a long list of planned communities around the world.
Weston Havens House

Searching for Queer Spaces

The dominant heteroview of architectural history means we may lose our queer spaces and their histories before we even know they exist.
Gourna Mosque

Hassan Fathy and New Gourna

Fathy rejected European ideas of modernism, arguing that Egypt could draw on its own regional histories to develop a national aesthetic.
An image from the Wasmuth Portfolio drawn by Marion Mahoney

Marion Mahony Griffin, Prairie School Architect

A founding member of the Prairie School, Mahony defined the movement’s now-familiar aesthetic for a global audience.
Mausoleum of Augustus

Fascist Architecture in Rome

In Mussolini's Rome, the built environment struck a balance between the romance of the ancient past and the rationalism of avant-garde modernism.
São Paulo Museum of Art

Lina Bo Bardi: Architect of Brazilian Modernism

A community-oriented architect, Lina Bo Bardi embraced the principles of modernism to design public buildings that remained connected to Brazil’s past.
Hutong in Beijing, China

China’s Historic Preservation Challenges

Beijing’s hutongs are disappearing quickly. Is there a way create safe housing, preserve historic buildings, and meet the city's financial needs?
Zaha Hadid, 2013

The Evolution of Zaha Hadid, Architect

An unconventional architect who started her career as an outsider, Hadid became a leading figure in architecture and design in the twenty-first century.
Part of the series La Città Nuova, 1914, by Antonio Sant'Elia

Exploring the Avant-Garde Architectural Manifesto

More than a century later, the architectural manifesto continues to hold our attention, emphasizing a charged moment when society was breaking with the past.
Photograph of Chinatown YWCA in San Francisco (now used by the Chinese Historical Society). Julia Morgan architect. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinatown_San_Francisco_%2826720090647%29.jpg

Julia Morgan, American Architect

Morgan, the first licensed woman architect in California, helped bring parity to the built environment, the community, and the profession.
Nakagin Capsule Tower in 2021

Tearing Down Nakagin Capsule Tower

Japanese Metabolists argued that architecture should be adaptable, changing as a city changed. Why, then, is this icon of Metabolism being dismantled?