Since yesterday, the AIA has made a sleuth of announcements for their 2016 Honor Awards. For starters, Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi won the 2016 AIA Gold Medal.
As for for the 2016 AIA Architecture Firm Award, Seattle-based LMN Architects scooped up the coveted prize. Considered to be the AIA's highest honor to an architecture firm, it recognizes a practice that has produced consistently distinguished architectural projects for a minimum of 10 years. Previously, Ehrlich Architects won the 2015 award.
The 2016 Topaz Medallion went to architectural educator Douglas S. Kelbaugh. This particular award honors an individual for their significant involvement in architecture education for more than a decade as well as their widespread influential teaching to students.
Architect R. Steven Lewis will be honored with the 2016 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. Named after the civil rights-era head of the Urban League, this award honors architects and organizations that represent the profession’s proactive social mandate through commitments including affordable housing, inclusiveness, and accessiblity.
Last but not least, the 2016 Edward C. Kemper Award went to Terrance J. Brown. Named in honor of the AIA’s first executive director, the Kemper Award is given to an architect who has significantly contributed to the profession through service to the AIA.
Scroll down for more about the recipients.
2016 AIA Architecture Firm Award: LMN Architects
"Founded in 1979, by George Loschky, FAIA, Jud Marquardt, FAIA, and John Nesholm, FAIA, LMN has nurtured a commitment to civic life, exploring the potential of architecture to strengthen the identity of the city and its communities, creating vivid places that bring people together around culture, the performing arts, education, and civic amenity.
"Based in Seattle, the firm now numbers 145 employees—architects, interior designers, urban planners, computer scientists, and administrative specialists. Interconnected themes emerge from the firm’s culture, collaborative process, and realization of transformative urban projects..."
With performing arts centers, higher education projects, and civic infrastructure projects all over the U.S., LMN Architects "has used complex programmatic buildings to bind together ill-defined urban districts."
"'Through their design of several significant urban theaters and convention centers that are thoroughly wed to the life of our cities, LMN provides an altogether different vision of a fully sustainable and civic minded future that embraces urban life,' wrote Stephen Kieran, FAIA, of 2008 AIA Architecture Firm Award recipient KieranTimberlake, in a recommendation letter."
LMN Architects will be presented with the award during the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia.
2016 Topaz Medallion: Douglas S. Kelbaugh
"Kelbaugh is the quintessential teaching architect who has, over the course of four decades, achieved estimable success in teaching, practice and writing, which he has ably woven together to shape a generation’s thinking about the environmental aspects of architecture...Kelbaugh began to influence architects in the earliest days of his career after completing his masters of architecture degree at Princeton University. In 1975, he completed a solar hous, which [remains] 'among the most studied and cited passive solar projects in the world,' according to Harrison Fraker, dean emeritus at UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design.
What followed was a spate of passive solar projects whose success led to Kelbaugh being tapped in 1985 to chair the department of architecture at the University of Washington. There, his scope expanded out from the environmental impact of individual buildings to the role of cities in energy depletion, and sharpened the focus of his colleagues on urban issues...Kelbaugh carried his model for an urban design charrette with him to the University of Michigan in 1998, when he became dean and professor of architecture and urban planning at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning...
After leaving his academic post, Kelbaugh practiced for two years in Dubai as the executive director of design and planning for Limitless LLC, a real estate development firm with mixed-use transit-oriented projects worldwide. Now teaching again at Taubman, Kelbaugh also writes about environmental urbanism, sustainability and related issues, and has completed no fewer than six book chapters in the past three years."
2016 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award: R. Steven Lewis
"Lewis has been a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within architecture, where less than two percent of the nation's licensed architects are black. As the son of an architect who practiced during the Civil Rights era, Lewis saw early in life the unique challenges that faced black architects attempting to work in what he described as a 'white gentlemen's profession.' Now an associate vice-president of TRC Energy Services, he co-founded and headed Los Angeles based RAW International in 1984. He has served as president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (and edited its magazine, where he published profiles of the work of pioneering architects of color), and he played a key role in forging a partnership between NOMA and AIA.
In 2006, while a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Lewis explored the structural inequality that serves to keep the number of practicing architects of color so low...His decades of work on behalf of minority architects, both present and past, has been a tribute to the people he saw while trailing his father as a child."
2016 Kemper Award: Terrance J. Brown
"Over the course of many catastrophes in four decades, Brown has personally trained more than 1,000 U.S. and Canadian architects in ways to mitigate and recover from earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks and other disasters. After the 9/11 attacks, Brown's expertise in disaster-related work was instrumental in developing programs that specifically prepare architects for work in disaster preparedness and recovery."
Brown also applied his expertise in Hurricane Katrina, the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and the Colorado wildfires in 2012 and 2013 floods. This past April, Brown and the AIA's Disaster Committee made building materials available online to Nepalese and other Asian architecture associations.
"Upon graduating from Texas Tech University's architecture program in 1969, Brown was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Engineers and served in Vietnam, flying daily helicopter missions. He was awarded the Bronze Star and other honors during his service, and chronicled daily life in an illustrated war journal that he wrote and drew..."
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