New York architect Robert Kliment passed away on June 3. Kliment cofounded Kliment Halsband Architects with his wife Frances; the firm received the AIA Firm Award in 1997 and an Honor Award the following year. Kliment Halsband Architects has received upward of 100 awards. In addition to his architecture practice, Kliment was a member of the faculty at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Best known for his work as a principal designer on the computer science buildings at Princeton and Columbia, the renovation of Yale Divinity School, and courthouses in Brooklyn and Gulfport, Mississippi, Kliment was considered to be a thoughtful, humanistic architect. On the firm’s site, it states, “Our clients are public and private organizations with ambitious educational, cultural, and civic goals.” In its citation for the Firm Award, the AIA jury described the work of Kliment Halsband Architects as “a quiet and persuasive architecture that speaks to the best traditions of our profession.” Most recently, the firm worked on the Sixth Avenue IFC Center in New York.
Kliment’s approach could be attributed to his unusual childhood. Born in Prague, Kliment was one of the children rescued by Sir Nicholas George Winton at the beginning of World War Two and made it safely to England. From there Kliment attended school in France and Cuba before studying architecture at Yale for his B.A. After a stint serving with the U.S. Army, Kliment returned to Yale for his master’s degree and won a Fulbright scholarship to study the history and evolution of urban spaces in Italy. He joined Mitchell/Giurgola in 1960 and later opened its New York office. He and his wife founded Kliment Halsband Architects in 1972.
Robert is survived by his wife, Frances; son Nick Morris-Kliment and his wife Jamie; son Alex Kliment and his wife Maya; and grandchildren Sam and Lydia Morris-Kliment, and Milan Hernández Kliment.