Resort developer John Spence coming to Yale School of Architecture as Bass Fellow

Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern has selected resort developer John Spence to be the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow for fall 2013 semester.

The Bass Fellowship was established in 2004 through the generosity of former Yale Corporation senior trustee Edward P. Bass. After graduating from Yale College in 1967, Bass studied at the Yale School of Architecture from 1968-1970. The fellowship brings to the School of Architecture distinguished leaders in the private and public sectors. While on campus, fellows participate in an advanced design studio led by senior or visiting faculty and teach in seminars. Fellows also provide students with insights into the real-world development process and the role of the architect in a development team.

While Spence has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, he describes himself as more of an entertainer than a businessman. In the early 1980s, he was a music agent in London representing bands such as Culture Club, the Eurythmics, and Bananarama before moving into property sales and marketing. Spence is now owner and chair of Karma Royal Group, which develops boutique villa resorts worldwide. Currently, the company has built and operates 22 resorts on four continents, with six more under development.

During his tenure at the School of Architecture, Spence will teach a design studio led by Patrick Bellew and Andy Bow, the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professors in Architectural Design.

Bellew is founding director and principal of the international sustainability consultancy, Atelier Ten.  He is one of the United Kingdom’s Royal Designers and a member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, a London-based international professional engineering association.  His firm’s projects at Yale include the environmental designs for Kroon Hall and Paul Rudolph Hall.

Bow is director and senior partner at Foster + Partners, an international design practice. His firm’s projects include Edward P. Evans Hall, the new home of the Yale School of Management.  

In the design studio, students will develop a medium-sized winery for the Rioja region of northern Spain. As part of the project, the students and their instructors will travel to Rioja.

As the Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellow, Spence will deliver a lecture titled “Five Star Hippie” on Aug. 29. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Hastings Hall, located on the lower level of Paul Rudolph Hall, 180 York St.

A complete list of former Bass Fellows is available here.