Dec. 15, 2011 – Processing is complete for the Judith (Dita) Roque-Gourary Architectural Collection, Ms2011-074. A part of the IAWA, this collection highlights the extensive career of a 20th century architect.
Judith (Dita) Roque-Gourary was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her family fled the country following the revolution of 1917 and relocated to Naples, Italy. As a child, she studied abroad in Germany and Austria. When Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Roque-Gourary was three tests away from receiving her architecture degree. She promptly left Vienna and transferred to La Cambre in Belgium to finish her studies. She remained in Belgium for the remainder of her career. Much of her work from 1941-1945 was destroyed in the occupation. From 1945-1948 she worked alongside architect Jean Nicolet-Darche until departing to form her own private practice. Roque-Gourary specialized in remodeling and modernizing 19th and 20th century residences during the reconstruction period. In 1978, Roque-Gourary created the Union of Women Architects in Belgium and acted as president until 1983. She was an outspoken advocate for women in the profession and a noted speaker for The International Union of Women Architects (UIFA).
The collection contains notebooks and sketchbooks from Roque-Gourary's childhood, documents and drawings related to her work with Jean Nicolet-Darcge as well as her private practice, and numerous publications of her work. In addition, one will find personal documents, speeches, and various ephemera relating to women in architecture. The majority of the collection is in French, however early grade and secondary school work is in German while articles from late in her career are written in Dutch.
A finding aid for the collection is available online.