Thomas Gordon Smith

Thomas Gordon Smith

Professor Emeritus


Prof. Thomas Gordon Smith came to the School as Chair in 1989, after which  he joined the regular faculty.  In 1988 he published  Classical Architecture: Rule and Invention  and in 2003 Monacelli Press published his edition of the five books of Vitruvius most pertinent to contemporary architecture. A monograph by Richard John titled  Thomas Gordon Smith and the Rebirth of Classical Architecture  highlights his work.

Thomas Gordon Smith established his architectural practice in 1980. He has continually expanded his understanding of theory and practice by building, teaching and writing. He became fully committed to the profession of classical architecture during 1979-80 as Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. His projects culminated in his facade and exhibition on the "Strada Novissima" at the architectural exhibition,  The Presence of the Past International Architectural Exhibition  at the 1980 Venice Biennale. His book,  Classical Architecture: Rule and Invention of 1987, advocates learning the classical language for application in current architecture. From 1989 to 1998, Prof. Smith, as chairman, applied his perspective of classical architecture to the curriculum of the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, becoming the primary school for study of classical and traditional architecture at the turn of the 21st century.

Prof. Smith's role in contemporary architecture is reflected in more than 20 museum exhibitions, in extensive publications of his buildings, and in scholarly publications of his research. Richard John's monograph on his architectural work,  Thomas Gordon Smith and the Revival of Classical Architecture, was published in the New Architecture Series by Papadakis in December 2001. Monacelli Press published Prof. Smith's book,  Vitruvius on Architecture in spring 2003.

Prof. Smith's ecclesiastical projects include a new church, parish hall and education building for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dalton, Georgia; a new seminary near Lincoln, Nebraska; a new Benedictine monastery near Tulsa, Oklahoma; the renovation of two churches, and master plans for churches in Michigan and Texas. He has designed residences in California, Illinois, North Carolina, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Public projects include the Cathedral City Civic Center in California, a Visitor's Center for the Lanier Mansion Historic Site in Indiana, and the Bond Hall School of Architecture.

Thomas Gordon Smith CV

Areas of Expertise

  • American Domestic Architecture
  • Classical Antiquity
  • Classical Architecture
  • Furniture Design
  • Professional Practice
  • Renaissance and the Baroque
  • Sacred Architecture

Recently Taught Courses

ARCH 21111 Architectural Design I

ARCH 41111 Design V

ARCH 50211 Grecian Architecture & Furniture Seminar

ARCH 51111 Architectural Design VII

ARCH 71141 Classical Architecture I

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