The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Thursday 24 September) announced the 2016 RIBA Honorary Fellowships, which will be awarded to fourteen individuals (of whom two are in partnership) from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds, including the worlds of construction, media, education and the arts.
RIBA Honorary Fellowships are awarded annually to people who have made a particular contribution to architecture in its broadest sense. This includes its promotion, administration and outreach; and its role in building more sustainable communities and in the education of future generations.
The 2016 RIBA Honorary Fellowships will be awarded to:
• John Brooks – Vice Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University
• Caroline Cole – architectural consultant
• Dame Vivien Duffield DBE – philanthropist and client
• Kristin Feireiss – architecture curator, writer and editor
• Kate Goodwin – Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator, Royal Academy
• Charles Knevitt – journalist, author and former Director of the RIBA Trust
• Peter and Annaliese Latz – landscape architects, Germany
• Sasha Lubetkin – curator
• Alison Nimmo CBE, FRICS, MRTPI, FICE – Chief Executive, The Crown Estate
• Grayson Perry – artist
• Richard Steer – quantity surveyor and patron of architecture, Gleeds
• Martha Thorne – Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize, Planner and Urbanist
• Heinz Wirz – publisher
The lifetime honour allows recipients to use the initials Hon FRIBA after their name.
The 2016 RIBA Honorary Fellowships will be presented at a special event at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1 on 1 February 2016.
Notes to editors:
1. For further press information contact Callum Reilly in the RIBA Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7307 3757
2. Honorary Fellowships are awarded by the RIBA each year to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the quality of architecture, the achievements of the profession and the aims and objectives of the RIBA. Any person who is not an architect may be nominated by RIBA members and elected as an Honorary Fellow.
3. The 2015 RIBA Honours Committee who selected the 2016 Fellows was chaired by RIBA President Jane Duncan with Sir Peter Cook, Neil Gillespie OBE, Victoria Thornton OBE and the 2015 Royal Gold Medallist John Tuomey.
4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit www.architecture.com and follow us on Twitter.
5. RIBA Honorary Fellows 2016 citations:
JOHN BROOKS, Vice Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University – nominated by Peter Clegg
It is unique, and surely will remain so, for a client to be shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize, named RIBA Client of the Year and to be elected an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA (not to mention having a building named after you) – all in the space of two years. But then John Brooks is a unique client.
During his decade as Vice Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University (an unusually long tenure) John, a physicist by trade, has seen the reputation of MMU, at home and abroad, grow extremely rapidly. And he has taken an unusually hands-on approach to the commissioning of the architecture needed to accommodate and to exploit that growth and success. But Brooks is more entrepreneurial than many professors: his work for his DSc in the physics of materials resulted in three patents that enabled him to set up a joint-venture company.
He has led a £350 million investment programme in new facilities as the University undergoes the largest physical change to its estate since its foundation and consolidates from seven to two campuses.
He has appointed Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, as well Sheppard Robson, John McAslan and BDP as his architects, all of whom have produced some of their best buildings, many of them award-winning. But John has also championed the energy aspects of the higher education sector and has taken his university to the top of the university green league. And he has cut a figure in Manchester, fighting for high-quality public realm and architectural design.
John is the client for the RIBA National Award-winning Manchester Business School (2013) and of the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Manchester School of Art (2014). He was the personification of the award of the RIBA Client of the Year 2014 to Manchester Metropolitan University, when the citation included the tribute: ‘In the rapidly changing world that the higher education sector faces today: the introduction of fees and rapidly changing student numbers, the client at Manchester Metropolitan University was pivotal to delivering pioneering and inspiring new buildings for their estate.’
CAROLINE COLE, architectural consultant – nominated by Stephen Hodder
Caroline Cole has worked tirelessly for architecture throughout her career. After studying architecture at Cambridge, she worked as a designer at Conran Associates and Crighton Ltd before becoming one of the UK’s first Design Managers, working client-side with Olympia and York at Canary Wharf. She then moved to the RIBA to run its Clients’ Advisory Service and Competitions Office, doubling the turnover of each and establishing Client Forums across a number of different sectors, to create a unique opportunity for clients to explore and develop an understanding of the real value of great architecture. Her hugely important work shaped future architect-client relationships.
She now runs Colander Associates, a consultancy business working across the built environment that bridges the divide between clients and their consultants. She works with architects, landscape architects, engineers and designers to help them develop and run effective creative businesses; and with clients to identify the best design teams for their projects. She has inspired many of the UK’s most successful architectural practices to develop their businesses, including a number of Stirling Prize winners, and has worked alongside some of the most influential developers and building owners, helping to formulate their approach to architecture. Through Colander, she pioneered the concept of benchmarking for the profession and, building on her commitment to integrated design, has set up Equilibrium Network a group of senior and influential inter-disciplinary women working across the built environment.
She is a Trustee of the Ove Arup Foundation, Acting Chair of Building Futures, Chair of the Advisory Panel to the University of Cambridge’s IDBE (Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment) course, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and, since 2011, a member of The Edge, a multi-disciplinary group remarkable for the high number of single-discipline institutions its members represent.
Caroline has been a judge of the RIBA Manser Medal, the Design Week Awards, the RIBA Awards, the AJ Top 100 Awards and the Inspire Awards that recognise women in the built environment. She has been an invited member of the Architecture Club since 2000. In the little spare time she has, Caroline is a ceramicist.
DAME VIVIEN DUFFIELD DBE, philanthropist and client – nominated by Stephen Hodder
Dame Vivien Duffield is the Chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation, a UK grant-giving foundation which focuses on arts education, leadership training and supporting Jewish life. She is the founder of JW3, London’s new Jewish Community Centre in north west London which won an RIBA National Award in 2014 and was ‘midlisted’ for the RIBA Stirling Prize. In the words of the RIBA citation: ‘JW3 brings to the UK for the first time a building type common in the US and elsewhere in the world: the community centre for Jewish and non-Jewish people; a secular building that respects Jewish traditions. Past Stirling judge Vivian Duffield visited one such in New York and wanted her Foundation to facilitate such a centre for the infants, teenagers, adults and senior citizens of North West London. This scheme elegantly comprises of a restaurant, auditorium, cinema, meeting rooms and a nursery.’
She is a Director of the Southbank Centre, Chairman of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and a member of the Board of the Royal Opera House. Dame Vivien’s charitable work has been formally acknowledged in the UK and in Israel. She was awarded the CBE in 1989, the DBE in 2000 and in 2008 HRH The Prince of Wales presented her with one of the first Medals for Arts Philanthropy.
KRISTIN FEIREISS, architecture curator, writer and editor – nominated by Sir David Chipperfield
Kristin Feireiss is a curator, writer, and editor. Born in Berlin and educated in Frankfurt, Kristin’s work – especially through the Aedes Architecture Forum which she founded in 1980 (with Helga Retzer † 1984) and since 1994 has led in partnership with Hans-Jürgen Commerell, has had a profound and wide-reaching influence on the discourse surrounding contemporary architecture and urban design.
Aedes is an independent discursive forum for architecture in Berlin and one of the first of its kind in the world. With its progressive programme of exhibitions, introducing avant-garde architects and foregrounding urban issues to the architectural community and beyond, Aedes created a model that has since been influential on international museums and architectural institutions. Kristin’s energetic curatorial work at Aedes has been realised in dynamic and wide-ranging exhibitions, the catalogues of which have become valuable sources of reference in their own right. Her exhibitions have also played a fundamental role in bringing young and obscure architectural talent to the fore, supplying the oxygen of publicity to emerging architects at crucial stages in their development.
Kristin’s work as a writer and academic has deepened the understanding of architecture and urban development with particular emphasis on often-marginalised cultural, social and economic factors. As director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute from 1996 to 2001, she focussed attention on the transformative processes affecting European and non-European cities carrying out innovative research in this area. During this time she curated the Dutch Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 1996 and 2000, and was a member of the 2012 International Jury for the Golden Lions of the International Architecture Biennale Venice. She has published work of keen social relevance, focussing on outstanding sustainable architecture and social initiatives – continually emphasising the need for architects to address issues of sustainability and social justice in public building, housing and city planning.
Her status in architecture was recognized in 2013 by the invitation to serve on the Pritzker Prize jury alongside Lord Palumbo, Richard Rogers, Benedatta Tagliabue and Glenn Murcutt. In nominating her for RIBA International Fellowship David Chipperfield cited her sustained commitment over 35 years to the idea of architecture as a force for cultural progress and social advancement.
KATE GOODWIN, Head of Architecture, and Drue Heinz Curator Royal Academy – nominated by Eric Parry and Tony Chapman
Australian born and educated Kate Goodwin has an infectious enthusiasm for architecture which she first demonstrated in leading workshops at the Design Museum for children aged 6 -12 years. But it was at the Royal Academy, which she joined as Architecture Programme Co-ordinator in 2003, that she got the opportunity to promote her vision of architecture to a wider public. Architecture was key to the remit of the Royal Academy of Arts from its foundation in 1768 with a mission to ‘promote the arts of design in Britain through education and exhibition’. It has however been in Kates time at the RA that the public remit to explain architecture been properly fulfilled.
She is a passionate and highly motivated curator working at one of the UK’s most prestigious arts institutions. She has been instrumental in developing and expanding the scope, stature and profile of the Architecture Programme. She recently curated the highly acclaimed exhibition Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined (Spring 2014), featuring the work of architects as diverse as Grafton Architects and Diébédo Francis Kéré. The Spectator called it ‘the best architectural exhibition ever experienced’; and on the basis of this extraordinary exhibition alone, which transformed the way the public considered architectural space, she is a worthy recipient of RIBA Honorary Fellowship. Previous exhibitions include Constructed Landscapes (2011), Contemporary Chinese Architecture (2006), Recreating Tatlin’s Tower (2011), Relics of Old London: Photography and the spirit of the city (2010), Paper Cities (2009). She co-commissioned Asif Kahn and Pernilla Ohrstedt to design the Future Memory Pavilion (2011) in Singapore in partnership with the British Council.
Other recent work include commissioning a public installation by ‘SO? Architecture and Ideas’ for the Royal Academy at Burlington Gardens, supported by Turkishceramics and curating the exhibition Inside Heatherwick Studio for the British Council and GREAT campaign which is currently touring East Asia. She also curated the exhibition Thinking through drawing: Chris Wilkinson RA which will run until February 2016.
Kate’s passion for the promotion of architecture involves many disciplines including film production and writing. She often commissions films from top film-makers and in 2009 co-directed and produced the film Andrea Palladio through the eyes of contemporary architects, featuring Sir Richard MacCormac, Arata Isozaki, Toh Shimazaki and Roger Zogolovic.
She is the author of a book on the design and creation of Thomas Heatherwick’s UK Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai which won the RIBA Lubetkin Prize in 2010. Kate holds a first class honours degree in Architecture from the University of Sydney and sits on the AD editorial board if.
CHARLES KNEVITT, journalist, author and former Director of the RIBA Trust – nominated by Paul Davis, Jane Duncan, Elena Tsolakis
Charles Knevitt has been writing about architecture for more than 40 years: he was architecture correspondent on the Sunday Telegraph (1980-84) and then The Times (1984-91); and is also the author of more than a dozen books on the subject.
In 1985 he created The Times/RIBA Community Enterprise Awards under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales. Earlier, in an article in Building Design in 1975, he had coined the term ‘community architecture’ and later went on to write the definitive book on the subject for Penguin with co-author Nick Wates, reissued by Routledge in 2013.
Other books include the Top 20 bestseller, One’s Life; Perspectives, an anthology of 1001 architectural quotations; and Shelter, which raised more than £100,000 for the charity, the National Campaign for Homeless People.
In the 1980s he popularised coverage of contemporary architecture on television with the ‘Our London’ poll on post-war buildings in London on Thames Television, to celebrate the RIBA’s 150th anniversary and its Festival of Architecture; was consultant on the six-part Anglia Television series for Channel 4, ‘Space on Earth’, and wrote the accompanying book; and was writer and presenter of an award-winning Granada Television programme in its ‘New North’ series.
As Director of the RIBA Trust for seven years, 2004-11, he managed the institute’s cultural assets – namely four million items in the Library and Collections – and delivered its public outreach programme – lectures, exhibitions and awards. The most notable exhibitions were the Le Corbusier – The Art of Architecture show and season, in Venice, Liverpool and London; and two touring exhibitions based on the RIBA’s original collection of Palladio drawings, one in Europe (with the Royal Academy) and another one in the United States. In London the Le Corbusier exhibition was shown at the Barbican but also included related displays and events here at 66 Portland Place, including a full-scale replica of the architect’s Cabanon, at the AA and the V&A.
During his directorship the Library began digitisation of its photographic collection and there was expansion of the awards programme. One of his last achievements was proposing the creation of a permanent exhibition space on the ground floor.
More recently he has written and performed his one-man show, Le Corbusier’s Women, in London and New York; and delivered papers at international conferences on How to be a Genius, and the comparative lives and works of the two greatest figures in Western architecture, Palladio and Le Corbusier. With others, he created architects’ First Wednesdays at the Chelsea Arts Club as a forum for younger architects to meet more experienced practitioners, encouraging dialogue between the generations, as well as adopting Corb’s trademark glasses for everyday wear.
To mark the 175th anniversary of the RIBA, in 2009, he organised a reception for architects hosted by the Prime Minister at No 10 Downing Street.
PETER AND ANNELIESE LATZ, landscape architects, Germany – nominated by Eric Parry & Louisa Hutton
Peter and Anneliese Latz’s major contribution to architecture lies in their understanding of the importance of the found; their work often revolves and evolves around the remnants of the past to make striking contemporary landscapes. They are best known for their emphasis on the reclamation and conversion of former industrialized landscapes.
Peter and his wife Anneliese founded their landscape architecture office in the late 1960s in Aachen and in Saarbrücken. They have continued to practice landscape architecture and town planning since then, working in an interdisciplinary dialogue, often times with renowned architects, artists and specialists. In 2001 their son Tilman joined the office and took the lead in 2011.
The philosophy of their Latz+Partner firm focuses on a combination of high-quality technical solutions with the unique characteristics of each place, thereby developing long-term and sustainable strategies. Ever since the 1980s the firm has concentrated on the metamorphosis of post-industrial sites. Their most influential and best known project is the 1991 Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, part of the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park which won the First European Prize for Landscape Architecture and the Grand Médaille d’Urbanisme. Following an international design competition, Latz+Partner were commissioned to design the park on the 230 hectare site of a derelict iron works. They decided to keep the main structures and to incorporate them into a new type of landscape design. Other well-known schemes include projects in Luxembourg, Turin, Tel Aviv and Beijing. Recently Latz+Partner, led by the son Tilman Latz and inspired by the poetry of Andrew Motion, won the competition to re-landscape the historic naval dockyard of Portsmouth.
Peter started teaching in 1968 as a lecturer at the Limburgse Akademie voor Bouwkunst in Maastricht. He became a full time professor for landscape architecture at the Gesamthochschule Kassel in 1973 and was appointed to the chair for Landscape Architecture and Planning at the Technical University of Munich in 1983 from which post he retired in 2008. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
SASHA LUBETKIN, curator – nominated by Rob Gregory, Jane Duncan, George Ferguson, John Allan and David Mellor
Ever since Berthold Lubetkin exploded on to the British architectural scene in 1932 the name has set a standard of expectation and achievement, first in the illustrious works of the man himself and then in the activism and advocacy of his daughter Sasha.
Four of her accomplishments epitomise this. All have been achieved collaboratively because that is the modest way she works. First, her institution of the Lubetkin Memorial Lecture – an annual event beginning a few years after her father’s death in 1990 at which distinguished speakers of international calibre including Tadao Ando, Richard Meier, Herman Hertzberger, Harry Seidler and Tony Benn addressed avid audiences of architects, students and others on any subject of their choice.
Secondly her contribution to critical architectural discourse is the informal discussion group she managed jointly with critic Kenneth Powell in the 1990s and 2000s – a sort of peripatetic architectural speakeasy involving architects, journalists, critics and students, with Sasha providing the social glue.
Thirdly, her long-standing and passionate support for the preservation of Finsbury Health Centre, a beacon of her father’s social and architectural commitment. In her role as patron of the Finsbury Health Centre Preservation Trust she brought authority and authenticity to the campaign, raising the morale of comrades and shaming the doubt of dissenters.
Fourthly, her Directorship of the Bristol Architecture Centre. She was a brilliant choice as the first of the Centre which was set up in a converted sail-loft on Bristol harbour in 1996. She combined her passion for architecture with an enthusiasm for the project with its mission of promoting better building and places for all. This involved raising both public and professional awareness of the potential of good design at a time when Bristol, in common with many cities, was not producing enough buildings and places of quality.
She gave the early years of the Centre a strong dynamic through the force of her personality, her apparently boundless energy and her undimmable charm. Her drive and personality helped gain core-funding from Bristol City Council, enabling later regular Arts Council funding.
Throughout her career Sasha has used her disarming diffidence and sardonic humour to spread enlightenment and stimulate discourse, helping to ensure that those three inspirational syllables – LU-BET-KIN – will continue to resonate through the profession for years to come.
ALISON NIMMO CBE, FRICS, MRTPI, FICE, Chief Executive The Crown Estate – nominated by Stephen Hodder
Regeneration expert Alison Nimmo is a chartered surveyor and town planner. In 2011 she took over as Chief Executive of The Crown Estate, which manages £11bn of land and property including Regent Street and St James’s in London, Windsor Great Park, as well as large areas of farmland and the seabed around Britain’s coasts. She previously spent five years with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) where, as Director of Design and Regeneration, she was responsible for delivering the overall masterplan, design and early delivery of many of the venues for the London 2012 Games, including the sterling prize shortlisted venues of the velodrome and the aquatics centre. The unheralded role was crucial the outstanding overall success of the Games. Her previous roles have included Chief Executive of Sheffield One and Project Director of Manchester Millennium Ltd – both award winning city centre programmes with a strong emphasis on design and placemaking.
Alison is a Non-Executive Director at Berkeley Group and a visiting professor for Sheffield Hallam University. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Royal Town Planning Institute Gold Medal for recognition of her services to town planning and sustainability throughout her career.
At the Crown Estate Alison follows in the footsteps of Roger Bright and Sir Christopher Howes, both of whom worked closely with the RIBA on an important award for conservation. Sir Christopher has been a trustee of the RIBA since 2010 and an Honorary Fellow since 1995. Alison has brought fresh life to their initiatives to revitalise and transform Regent Street in London, giving it not only vitality but also the coherence it has lacked since the destruction of much of the Nash original. But regeneration is about more than conservation, the Estate has set about rebuilding large parts of London’s West End. Much of The Crown Estate vast holdings of land and property are being redeveloped at any one time, so Nimmo holds a very powerful position in the world of architecture. In 2004, Nimmo was awarded a CBE for her services to urban regeneration.
GRAYSON PERRY, artist – nominated by Jane Duncan
Grayson Perry is a very 21st century national treasure. The artist is known equally well for his ceramic pots and his cross-dressing. His ‘classical’ pots are decorated ‘graphically’ and there is a strong autobiographical element to all his work, in which images of Perry as Claire, his female alter-ego, often appear.
Perry started pottery lessons in September 1983 at the Central Institute where he was taught by Sarah Sanderson and had his first exhibition just three months later. Perry enjoyed the medium because of ‘the ways artifice could be deployed to make the innocent or honest pot have a purpose and mean something’.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam mounted a solo exhibition of his work in 2002, which led in 2003 to his becoming the first ceramic artist to win the Turner Prize. He turned up to the awards ceremony with his family, dressed as Claire, wearing a little party dress.
In 2009 he turned his attention to textiles, creating and displaying the enormous (15 metres x 3 metres) Walthamstow Tapestry featuring hundreds of brand names at the London Gallery. As well as being the subject of a number of exhibitions, he has also curated several including The Tomb Of The Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum.
In 2015, working with FAT Architecture and commissioned by Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture, Perry completed Julie’s House, a built autobiographical tribute to his latest creation.
In 2012 he made a Channel 4 BAFTA-winning documentary series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, about how taste is class-dependent. His other television and radio appearances include BBC’s Question Time, Hard Talk, Desert Island Discs and Have I Got News for You. He has also been the subject of a South Bank Show in 2006 and of a 2011 Imagine documentary on the BBC. In 2013 he presented the Reith Lectures to great acclaim. Entitled Playing to the Gallery, Perry considered the state of art in the 21st Century. In 2014 Perry presented a three-part documentary series for Channel 4, Who Are You?
He is married to author and psychotherapist Philippa Perry. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to contemporary art, choosing a midnight blue ‘Italian mother of the bride’ outfit to wear to collect the award. In 2015 he was appointed chancellor of University of the Arts London in succession to Kwame Kwei-Armah.
RICHARD STEER, quantity surveyor and patron of architecture – nominated by Richard Brindley, Jane Duncan & Stephen Hodder
Richard Steer is a quantity surveyor and a keen supporter, sponsor and champion of the RIBA, architects and architecture and holds a significant position in the UK construction industry.
Richard was appointed Chairman of Gleeds in 1999, and has overseen the expansion of this independent international cost consultants’ business into a global organisation with a turnover of over £100 million and 56 offices around the world. Having graduated from the University of Reading in 1976 with a degree in Quantity Surveying, he worked in Oman and Egypt before returning to the UK to set up Gleeds’ overseas operations in the Far East, America and Europe. His growth strategy has seen both new offices and new markets for Gleeds, with a focus on providing services for all stages of the property life-cycle and providing clients with best quality independent advice.
Richard has been a regular columnist for Building magazine since 2005, writing on issues of design quality and effectiveness in our construction industry and built environment. He now sits on the magazine’s editorial board.
Over many years, Richard has contributed his strategic expertise to the construction industry to the RIBA as an active member of the RIBA’s Professional Practice Board, Economic Panel and Membership Committee.
He is passionate about design, education and the environment. Under his direction, Gleeds works closely with the RIBA, particularly in the area of sustainability. This includes hosting and sponsoring the RIBA’s four-year programme of International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change events, engaging in this debate senior key figures such as HRH Prince of Wales, Frank Gehry, Lord Richard Rogers, Lord Norman Foster, Kevin McCloud and Boris Johnson. In recent years he has personally supported the work of HRH Prince of Wales and the promotion of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Communities. Through Richard, Gleeds has sponsored RIBA new member and student events to engage younger professionals with the Institute. He is also committed to Corporate Responsibility and participates in Gleeds’ community activities. He has advised the UK Government on housing, apprenticeships and the skills shortage debate.
Richard’s industry positions and commitments include: Fellowship of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Special Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Building, and Fellowship of the Association of Project Managers.
The RIBA is delighted to award an honorary fellowship to recognise Richard Steer’s enthusiastic and long term commitment to architecture, achieving a better built environment and construction industry and his support of the RIBA and its members.
MARTHA THORNE, Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize, Planner & Urbanist – nominated by John Tuomey, Tony Chapman & Louisa Hutton
Every architecture project needs a project architect, someone who will co-ordinate all the players to deliver a building that looks that little bit better than the design; just so an architecture prize needs someone who will take an existing award; clarify the goals, needs, and criteria; assist in framing the discussion, gather the relevant information, and facilitate a focused analysis and dialogue, leading to an informed decision by the jury. In Martha Thorne the Pritzker Prize has found the perfect director.
But it is through her role in academia that her influence on architecture has been most significant. As Associate Dean for External Relations of the IE School of Architecture in Madrid, a university with an international focus dedicated to innovative architectural studies, and to which she has recently been appointed Dean, she has dedicated the majority of her time and energy to ensuring that its students see architecture as part of the real world – this is the unique DNA of her school. The philosophy of the school and the university as a whole has always been to apply research to real situations. Hence its policy of appointing as professors not only architects who are practitioners but also professionals from other fields too. Hence the Martha’s own appointment. So for her, student projects should not be judged on their ability to be built and function but on their cultural contribution to the community and the city. She says, ‘I feel particularly passionate about the positive outcomes that can be generated when the academic and professional worlds collaborate. I have great faith in our students and future architects and see my role as Dean as helping students to understand the bigger picture in which architecture can make a qualitative difference.’
In her third role as a client advisor Martha leads the architect selection process for various public institutions. Her methodology is not dissimilar to her Pritzker role: she defines a process and assists trustees and/or building committees in order to identify and select an appropriate architect for the commission at hand.
From 1996 to 2005, she worked as a curator at the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. Her work during her nine-year tenure at the museum involved curating many exhibitions, including Unbuilt Chicago, Bilbao: The Transformation of a City, and Modern Trains and Splendid Stations; and developing the related publications. She is the co-author of the book Masterpieces of Chicago Architecture, editor of David Adler: The Elements of Style, editor and author for The Pritzker Architecture Prize: The First Twenty Years, and co-editor of Skyscrapers: The New Millennium.
Ms Thorne received a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She undertook additional studies at the London School of Economics. She served for six years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and for three years on the Board of Advisors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture.
HEINZ WIRZ, publisher – nominated by Neil Gillespie
Heinz Wirz founded Quart Verlag in 1999. From the earliest publications the vision and intent has been clear and unwavering. Heinz Wirz and his team have documented a broad view of contemporary architectural practice through a series of thematic publications from individual Swiss architects, both established and young, through to books on theory, writing, international architects, landscape, art and photography.
It is hard to think of another publisher in the world who has documented and celebrated the discipline of architecture with such professionalism and care. The design and production of each book is exemplary, beautifully considered and consistent. They are a joy to own.
Heinz Wirz and Quart Verlag are to be congratulated for celebrating and exploring in great depth the Swiss architectural scene. They have given many practices a platform from which they can move forward. While the initial output was centred purely on the Swiss architects, it has begun to extend into international architecture. As with their Swiss subjects, the focus has been largely on architects who are generally on the margins of greatness, leaving to other publishers the easier and more profitable task of concentrating on architects who have already seen considerable success and who therefore are a more commercial draw.
In the publication on Tony Fretton, Tony talks of how a retrospective exhibition for an artist is an opportunity to reflect on their work; a monograph, he points out, fulfils the same function for the architect. Heinz Wirz has afforded this opportunity to many young architects. And the publicity has undoubtedly helped their practices to develop. In this, Heinz is a vital cog in the architectural machine.
Posted on Thursday 24th September 2015