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Architect Robert Adam wins 2017 Driehaus Prize

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Residential mental health facility, St Andrew’s Hospital – Northampton, England, by Robert Adam. Completed in 2010. (Photo: Nikhilesh Haval)

Architect Robert Adam has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. The annual award is given “to honor lifetime contributions to traditional, classical and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world.” Founded in 2003, the prize includes $200,000 and a bronze miniature of the of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates.

Robert Adam, a Rome Scholar, is the founder of ADAM Architecture, as well as of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU). The organization works to connect those interested in traditional architecture and urbanism.

“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. “Sustainability is at the foundation of his work, achieved through urbanism and architecture that is respectful of local climate, culture and building customs.”

Along with his design practice, Adam has written many publications on classical and historic architecture, including Classical Architecture: A Complete Handbook and Classic Columns: 40 years of writing on architecture. Adam is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an academician at the Academy of Urbanism, and a senior fellow at the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.

The Driehaus Prize statuet is modeled after the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates, built in the 4th century BCE in Athens, Greece. (C messier/Wikimedia Commons)

The Driehaus Prize statuette is modeled after the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates, built in the 4th century BCE in Athens, Greece. (Courtesy messier/Wikimedia Commons)

In conjunction with the Driehaus Prize, the late James S. Ackerman was announced as the recipient of the Henry Hope Reed Award. The annual Henry Hope Reed Award recognizes those working outside of the practice of architecture who have “supported the cultivation of the traditional city.”

“James Ackerman’s immense contributions to contemporary understanding of Renaissance architecture have greatly influenced not only the field of architectural history but the practice of architecture today,” said Richard H. Driehaus, founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Chicago-based Driehaus Capital Management LLC. “His work brought the past to life, allowing generations of architects to learn from the early masters of the craft.”

An additional award was also announced to recognized the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).

“We live in an age that often privileges the private realm over the public, and the Congress for the New Urbanism has worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the public realm. Initially through the design of new communities like Seaside, Florida, and later through education outreach that expanded demand for the improvement of established towns and cities,” stated Dean Lykoudis. “For over two decades, CNU has shown how it is possible to meet the needs of diverse communities with a basic set of principles that can be adapted for different cultures and traditions to create vibrant, beautiful places.”

This year’s 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.

The 15th Driehaus Prize will be presented at a ceremony on March 25th, in Chicago.

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