Jacobé Huet, PhD

Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture
jhuet@buffalo.edu

Assistant Professor - Department of Architecture

Jacobe Huet.

Jacobé Huet, assistant professor at UB, is a historian of modern architecture with a focus on the transcultural Mediterranean.

Jacobé Huet is an assistant professor of architectural history and theory at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Huet received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2022. Prior to her doctoral studies, she earned an M.A. from Williams College and a B.A. from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Huet is a historian of modern architecture with a focus on the transcultural Mediterranean. She is currently working on her first book project. This inquiry revisits the white cube as a quintessential modernist motif. White and cubical volumes are ubiquitous throughout the designs of avant-garde architects in the first half of the 20th century. Historians and theorists made the white cube an emblem of European modernism, consistently associating this motif with architectural placelessness and machine-age aesthetics. Huet's book project shifts this paradigm by recasting the modernist white cube as a product of regionalist inspiration and postcolonial agency in the transcultural Mediterranean. Based on new archival findings attesting to Adolf Loos, Marcel Breuer, and Le Corbusier’s extensive Mediterranean travels, she argues that these modernists appropriated key features of Greek island villages and North African medinas to formulate their white and cubical designs. Measuring these architects’ primitivist vision of vernacular against the discourses of dissident Mediterranean figures, she demonstrates that celebrated designers, unnamed builders, scholars of the built environment, and social housing residents formulated contesting definitions of this architectural motif. A segment of this project was recently published in Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World.

Scheu House, by Adolf Loos, Vienna, 1912.

Scheu House, by Adolf Loos, Vienna, 1912. 

Algiers, general view from the casbah, by L. & Y., circa 1900. Mâcon, Archives départmentale de Saône-et-Loire, Fonds Augoyard. 21 Fi 69.

Algiers, general view from the casbah, by L. & Y., circa 1900. Mâcon, Archives départmentale de Saône-et-Loire, Fonds Augoyard. 21 Fi 69.

Roofs of Algiers’ casbah, by Manuelle Roche, 1989. Reproduced from André Ravéreau, La Casbah d’Alger, et le site créa la ville (Paris: Sindbad, 1989), 215.

Roofs of Algiers’ casbah, by Manuelle Roche, 1989. Reproduced from André Ravéreau, La Casbah d’Alger, et le site créa la ville (Paris: Sindbad, 1989), 215. 

Huet's teaching invites students to approach architectural designs as ideologically charged objects emerging from networks of transregional exchanges. Courses she offers include “Colonialism and its Subversion: Architectural Modernism in North Africa,” “Le Corbusier Beyond Europe: Modernism and Ideologies” and “Architectural History 2: Modernity and Its Other.” Before joining the University at Buffalo, Huet held teaching positions at Williams College, Harvard University, and Trinity College.  

"I am inspired by UB’s commitment to inclusive education and Buffalo’s architectural patrimony. The city of Buffalo acted as a catalyst towards the development of American architectural modernity. I look forward to examining this history with my students."

    - Jacobé Huet