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The Ends of Architecture – VI. Frascari Symposium



March 31 to April 1, 2023

Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architecture Center


Linda Heinrich, Paul Emmons, and Camila Mancilla

The Tower Tarot Card

Tarot trump cards probably appeared in the fifteenth century among northern Italian courts with hand-painted cards attributed to artists such as Andrea Mantegna. One of the trump cards was known as The House of God and later simply The Tower. Of its many arcane meanings, it was early on associated with the Tower of Babel. However, while the card shows the tower’s ruination, in the biblical story it was not destroyed, only abandoned unfinished due to the confusion of languages. Marco Frascari related this to the different languages spoken by each building trade. Frascari’s sketchbooks show that the tower was a subject to which he returned repeatedly, exemplified by the images displayed here, with many versions and situations for the tower as an emblem of architecture, even asking that the Tower of Babel story be read at his funeral.​

The exhibition accompanying the presentations, also curated and organized by Linda Heinrich, Paul Emmons, and Camila Mancilla, showcased works largely centered around the theme of ‘end’ and completion. Featured works in the exhibition include creations by Bahar Avanoğlu, Alessandro Ayuso, Carolina Dayer and Jonathan Foote, Patrick Doan, Carol Emmons, Linda Heinrich, Christine Kelley, Lisa Landrum and Ted Landrum, Camila Mancilla, Virginia Melnyk, Mohammad Moezzi, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Natalija Subotincic, Ryan Pieper, Tom Shiner, and Benjamin Vanmuysen, each bringing unique perspectives and explorations on the architectural concept of 'ending' or 'completion'.

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