Driehaus Awards the Much-Awarded Stern


The design for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas (all images courtesy Notre Dame School of Architecture).

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture announced that Robert A. M. Stern has been named this year’s Richard H. Driehaus laureate. The prize, which comes with a $200,000 purse, “honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world,” according to a statement. Founded in 2003, the prize has previously honored lesser known architects such as Rafael Manzano Martos of Spain and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil of Egypt in addition to marquee American traditional and classicist architects like Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Allan Greenberg (several Driehaus recipients have also won or been involved in the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize).

Stern’s office told AN that he will donate his award to Yale, where he is the Dean of the School of Architecture. Stern’s career has covered furniture design, residences, skyscrapers, civic buildings, and town plans, in a variety of historical and modern styles. He is also a noted architectural historian, particularly for his collection of books on New York City.

The Comcast Center in Philadelphia is Stern’s tallest building to date, and one of his most unabashedly modern designs, though the Driehaus committee was quick to point out its resemblance to an obelisk.

Stern designed the masterplan for Celebration Florida, a New Urbanist community originally developed by Disney. Detractors have called the project “sprawl in drag.”

15 Central Park West is now one of the New York’s most expensive addresses. Stern adapted the forms and style of early classic 20th century apartment houses for contemporary life.

The Nashville public library was completed in 2001.

A neo-classical residence in Seaside, Florida, the first New Urbanist community, completed in 2006.

Robert A. M. Stern.

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