January 24, 2012

The 2012 Driehaus Prize

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Denver Central Library (1991-1995) in Civic Center Park, Denver, Colorado. Michael Graves & Associates.

In a profile published in 2007, Chicago magazine called Richard H. Driehaus “one of the city’s most dedicated advocates for historic preservation.” He delights in traditional beauty and therefore has done much to preserve Chicago’s grand old buildings. Driehaus not only supported the restoration of the Nickerson Mansion, but also the stunning Richardsonian Romanesque Ransom Cable House on the opposite corner of Erie and Wabash, and an 1887 Queen Anne-style residence on the Gold Coast.

Driehaus also takes after those great patrons of the Italian Renaissance and supports living architects whose ideals are similarly rooted in the classics. Since 2003 the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame honors one architect annually with $200,000. On Dec. 14, Michael Graves—the architect, Princeton professor emeritus, and designer—was announced as the 2012 laureate. He will receive the prize in a ceremony in March. Graves was commended by the jury for his urbanism, a “commitment to the traditional city—in its human scale, complexity, and vitality—as emblematic of time-tested sustainability.” Graves is multi-talented; his work ranges from Rice University campus buildings to an elegant product line at Target.

Past Driehaus Prize laureates include Robert A.M. Stern (2011), whose 15 Central Park West residential building hinted at New York’s pre-war apartments; Rafael Manzano Martos (2010); and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil (2009).

Also to be awarded in March is the recipient of the Henry Hope Reed Award. The prize grants $50,000 to an influential supporter in the realm of classical architecture and is also given through the University of Notre Dame and Richard H. Driehaus. Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, a writer and landscape preservationist who serves as president of the Foundation for Landscape Studies, was selected for the 2012 Reed Award. Her most recent book is Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries.

For more information visit the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame website. Michael Graves’s architecture firm and design group sites can be accessed via MichaelGraves.com, and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’s website is ElizabethBarlowRogers.com.

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