Today, the University of Notre-Dame announced UK architect Robert Adam as the 2017 laureate of the 15th Richard H. Driehaus Prize, which honors a living architect for their long-term significant contributions to the architecture discipline and whose work has made a positive impact in “keeping with the highest ideals of classical architecture in contemporary society”. Established in 2003, Driehaus laureates have included Scott Merrill, David M. Schwarz, Thomas H. Beeby, Michael Graves, and Robert A.M. Stern.
Richard H. Driehaus commended Robert Adam for his “seminal and sustained contributions to his discipline by establishing a dialogue between the traditional and modern modes of architecture” and acknowledged Adam's “tremendous success by experimenting with contemporary materials and methods within the context of local and regional traditions.”
The Driehaus Prize jury also posthumously awarded the 2017 Henry Hope Reed Award to architectural historian James S. Ackerman, who was the Arthur Kingsley Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus at Harvard University. The $50,000 prize honors “an individual working outside the practice of architecture who has supported the cultivation of the traditional city”. Last but not least, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) won a special award for contributions to the public realm for their 25 years of work promoting the development of healthy, livable communities.
Robert Adam will receive the $200,000 Driehaus Prize and a bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a ceremony in Chicago on March 25.
Read on for more about Robert Adam and for some photos of his work.
“Robert Adam received his architectural education at Westminster University and was a Rome Scholar in 1972-73. In 1977, he became a director of Winchester and London-based ADAM Architecture. Adam was also active in the founding of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU), an organization established in 2001 to connect organizations and practitioners interested in traditional architecture and urbanism and bring their ideas to a wider audience.”
Adam's architectural work includes master plans, public and commercial buildings, extentions to historic buildings, and private homes. He has written several essays and books, including the notable “Classical Architecture: A Complete Handbook” (1990), “The Globalisation of Modern Architecture” (2012), and the new “Classic Columns: 40 years of writing on architecture” (2017).
Adam's other roles include being a Royal Society of Arts fellow, an academician at the Academy of Urbanism, a senior fellow of the Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment (Heritage), and founder and past-chair of the College of Chapters at INTBAU (UK). He has also been a Royal Institute of British Architects award judge for nine years and has served in the governing RIBA Council. When he became honorary secretary from 2001-03, he founded the Traditional Architecture Group.
“Throughout his career, Robert Adam has engaged the critical issues of our time, challenging contemporary attitudes toward architecture and urban design. He has written extensively on the tensions between globalism and regionalism as we shape our built environment,” said Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize jury chair and Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, in a statement. “Sustainability is at the foundation of his work, achieved through urbanism and architecture that is respectful of local climate, culture and building customs.”
The 2017 Driehaus Prize jury included: 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; and Demetri Porphyrios, principal of Porphyrios Associates.
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