The University of Notre Dame announced today that Florida-based architect Scott Merrill — founder and principal designer of Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects — is the 2016 laureate of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize. Established in 2003, the annual, lifetime-achievement award recognizes a living architect whose work has demonstrated positive cultural, environmental, and artistic impact that also maintains the highest standards of classical architecture in contemporary society. Previous laureates in the last few years include David M. Schwarz, Thomas H. Beeby, the late Michael Graves, and Robert A.M. Stern.
The 2016 jury selected Merrill as the 14th laureate in recognition of his masterful combination of classical and vernacular forms of architecture. He will be presented with the $200,000 cash prize and bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during the March 19 awards ceremony at the John B. Murphy Auditorium in Chicago.
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"Merrill’s extensive knowledge of vernacular and classical traditions in architecture form the base of his imaginative buildings that are built on a human scale and imbued with originality as well as beauty. His designs span from single-family houses to master plans and include a wide range of building types such as a federal courthouse, apartment buildings, town halls, an equestrian center and an acclaimed chapel in Seaside, Florida."
After graduating from the University of Virginia, Merrill received a master of architecture degree from Yale University. In 1990, he founded his firm — Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects in Vero Beach, Florida — as a sole practitioner.
Notable for its integration of building typologies and site planning, the firm has designed projects worldwide including England, Haiti, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, and the United Arab Emirates as well as throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.
In a statement, Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize jury chair and Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture said: "'Scott Merrill has demonstrated how the principles of classicism can be used as a foundation for designing buildings that respond to and express regional character while employing the richness of precedents found throughout the ages, including our own. His applications of architectural forms from various times and places to modern settings are used to reinforce the values of community, beauty and sustainability without sacrificing economy.'"
The 2016 Driehaus Prize jury featured: Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president emerita of the American Academy in Rome; Robert Davis, developer and founder of Seaside, Florida; Paul Goldberger, contributing editor at Vanity Fair; Léon Krier, architect and urban planner; Demetri Porphyrios, principal of Porphyrios Associates; and Witold Rybczynski, Meyerson Professor Emeritus of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.
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