Traditional Building Portfolio

2011 Driehaus Prize

By Lynne Lavelle

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Driehaus Prize. He will receive the award at a ceremony in Chicago, IL, in March of this year. Photo: Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, founder and senior partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, and dean of the Yale School of Architecture, has been named the recipient of the 2011 Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture. Stern will receive the $200,000 annual prize and a model of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a March 26th ceremony in Chicago, IL. The architect, writer and educator will join a distinguished list of past recipients: Rafael Manzano Martos (2010); Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil (2009); Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Andres Duany (2008); Jaquelin T. Robertson (2007); Allan Greenberg (2006); Quinlan Terry (2005); Demetri Porphyrios (2004); and Leon Krier (2003).

The prize was established in 2003 by Richard H. Driehaus, founder and chairman of Driehaus Capital Management in Chicago, IL, to honor the best practition-ers of traditional, Classical and sustainable architecture in the modern world. It is presented by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, whose dean, Michael Lykoudis, chaired the Driehaus Prize Jury. He says, “More than any other practicing architect today, Bob Stern has brought Classicism into the public realm and the mainstream of the profession, reinvigorating it for generations to come. We are honored to have him among the Driehaus Prize laureates.”

Now in its 41st year, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, has grown to 220 architects, interior designers and supporting staff. The firm works around the globe, with projects underway in Europe, Asia and South America. Within the U.S., acclaimed buildings such as the glass-curtain-walled Comcast Center in Philadelphia, PA; the pre-war-inspired residential tower 15 Central Park West in New York City; and the seminal town plan for Celebration, FL, have built Stern’s reputation as a modern traditionalist, whose work builds upon the principles, values and ideals of Classicism. Current high-profile commissions include the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and two new residential colleges at Yale University in New Haven, CT.

The pre-war-inspired residential tower 15 Central Park West is one of many acclaimed buildings by Robert A.M. Stern Architects; it was completed in 2008 in New York City. Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto

Besides personally directing the design of each of the firm’s projects, Stern continues his long career as a teacher and writer. He is a committed preservationist, and has lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad to raise awareness of the importance of architecture and urbanism to contemporary life, and to reopen the discourse between the past and the future. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and received the AIA Chapter’s Medal of Honor in 1984 and the Chapter’s President’s Award in 2001.

In 2007, he received both the Athena Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Board of Director’s honor from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. He received the 10th Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in 2008, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal from the Municipal Art Society of New York in 2009. Additionally, Robert A.M. Stern Architects has received a total of four Palladio Awards, in 2004, 2005 and 2010, for its commercial work.

Stern’s reaction to this latest honor is “one of pure pleasure,” he says. “I think it is a wonderful prize. I respect it because it is not for one building or for one star turn, but for an ideal – a set of principles and a body of work. It is extremely gratifying because so may people I admire in the profession have been awarded the Prize in the past. I take it very, very seriously.”

This year’s jury was comprised of Richard H. Driehaus, founder and chairman of Driehaus Capital Management; Michael Lykoudis, Frances and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecure; Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome; Robert Davis, developer and founder of Seaside, FL; Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker; Leon Krier, Inaugural Driehaus Prize laureate; and David M. Schwarz, principal of David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. TB





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