SHoP Architects’ principals have been named as the 2022 American Prize for Architecture laureates by The Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The seven principals, Angelica Trevino Baccon, John Cerone, Dana Getman, Gregg Pasquarelli, Coren Sharples, Christopher Sharples, and William Sharples, have "continually pushed the boundaries of what’s been accepted as the traditional role of the architect," according to the prize.
The annual award, established in 1994, is given to an office or practitioner in the United States who has "emblazoned a new direction in the history of American Architecture with talent, vision, and commitment" and who has "demonstrated consistent contribution to humanity through the built environment and through the art of architecture." Previous winners of the prize include Sir Norman Foster, Michael Graves, and AS+GG.
In awarding the 2022 prize to SHoP, the prize organizers praised the New York City firm’s ability to "bring together and optimize diverse expertise in the field of design that improves the quality of public life, that challenges classic construction processes, and that demonstrates that beauty and technological proficiency are not mutually exclusive."
Among the works cited by the prize to exemplify this expertise were the 84-story 111 West 57th Street in New York City, the recently-completed Uber headquarters in San Francisco, and the Atlassian HQ hybrid timber tower currently under construction in Sydney, Australia.
"Over the years, SHoP Architects have always been curious, demanding more and pushing the design envelope further and further, but always sticking to the firm’s core principles, while looking at the complexity of the project and its context and its social consequences, but never reducing their work to a style or an image," said Chicago Athenaeum president Christian Narkiewicz-Laine on the awarding of the American Prize to SHoP’s principals.
"Their work demonstrates a larger scale of exuberance in their forms that embody the joy of being poised on the edge of the city, the movement of the water, and the open, expansive views of the skyline," adds Narkiewicz-Laine. "SHoP believes that buildings should reflect the lively, vibrant communities around them, and therefore each building they design is uniquely grounded in a sense of place, always reacting to the community, history, and physicality of a location as they design."
SHoP’s philosophy on skyscraper design was previously explored in a 2019 Archinect feature, where we reflected on the firm’s role in transforming New York City’s skyline. The firm was also the subject of our 2018 “How To Get A Job At ___” series, where we spoke with SHoP Associate Principal Lise Schwert on the firm’s culture and philosophy.
The New York City studio also made headlines in early 2022 when an ultimately unsuccessful unionization effort among SHoP workers fuelled a larger discussion on labor rights and conditions in the profession.
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