The AIA bestowed its honorable 2018 Gold Medal today to architect James Stewart Polshek, partner emeritus of Ennead Architects. The award distinguishes an individual architect or pair of architects for their lasting influence and significant contributions to the field. Last year, the medal was posthumously awarded to Paul R. Williams. Other recipients include Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, Moshe Safdie, posthumously to Julia Morgan, and Thom Mayne.
Born in Akron, Ohio, Polshek earned his Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1955, and then started James Stewart Polshek Architect in 1963, which eventually became Ennead Architects in 2010. Some of the firm's notable projects include the Newseum/Freedom Forum Headquarters in Washington D.C. and the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, AR. Throughout his career, Polshek has acquired over 200 design awards, the 1992 AIA Architecture Firm Award, and 15 National Honor Awards for Architecture.
“Polshek has fostered an environment wherein design excellence, effective collaboration and rigorous research work in concert to create enduring architecture,” the AIA said in a statement. “Polshek’s sensitivity as an architect and his willingness to give credit to others — whether they be his clients, staff or collaborators — have helped restore the promise that architecture can be an uplifting force in the world. Everywhere that he has worked, and throughout his eloquent writings, he has raised the level of discussion while pursuing an unambiguous goal of architecture as a healing art.”
Polshek will be presented with the Gold Medal during the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City in June.
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