Distinguished Architects to Hold Endowed Chairs at Yale

The Yale School of Architecture will host four renowned architects as visiting professors during the Spring 1999 semester, Dean Robert A.M. Stern announced today.

Philip Johnson, Hendrik (Hank) Koning and Julie Eizenberg, and Charles Gwathmey will join the Yale faculty as holders of endowed chairs, beginning January 1999.

Each will present one lecture and instruct a studio course for Yale architecture students. The talks will be held in Hastings Hall auditorium in the Art and Architecture Building, 180 York St., at 6:30 p.m. The lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Doors will open to the general public at 6:15 p.m.

Johnson will discuss his “Current Works” on Feb. 15, Eizenberg will present a lecture titled “Between” on March 29, and Gwathmey will speak on “Recent Projects” on April 12.

The talks are part of a lecture series sponsored by the Yale School of Architecture.

“These distinguished visitors reflect Yale’s traditional character of open discourse and opposing points of view,” said Dean Stern. “It is part of a grand conversation across time, across ideologies and ideals. Yale has always been – and continues to be – the most open and exciting place for architectural inquiry. That is because we do not have just one belief about what architecture is: we search in all directions.”

Johnson, the elder statesman of American architecture at 92 years old, will be the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor of Architectural Design. As a teaching assistant, he will have the services of noted architect Peter Eisenman. Eisenman is the founding director of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York and author of “House X” (1982) and “Houses of Cards” (1987).

For more than half a century, Johnson has been a prominent figure in the world of architecture as architect, critic and curator. He has earned architecture’s highest awards, including the AIA Gold Medal and the Pritzker Prize. Johnson’s work has comprised every major 20th century architectural movement beginning with the modernism of the 1920s and early 1930s through the post-modernism and deconstructionism of the 1980s and 90s. Since 1932, he has held key positions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, including serving as the founding director of the Department of Architecture and Design. Among the buildings for which he is best known are the Glass House complex in New Canaan, Conn. (begun in 1949 and expanded over the years, most recently in 1995), the Seagram Building (1959, with Mies van der Rohe), the Museum for Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks (1963), the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center (1964), the Fort Worth Water Garden (1975) and the AT&T Corporate Headquarters (1979-84).

Still active, Johnson provided a design this year that introduced a new technology for integrating images into the facade of a skyscraper. In contrast to his severe early work, his latest buildings are remarkable for their sculptural freedom. His design for a monumental clock in a public space at Lincoln Center was recently approved for manufacture. Johnson’s studio is titled “A New Building for the Yale School of Archecture.”

Koning and Eizenberg will jointly hold the William Henry Bishop Visiting Professorship of Architectural Design. Koning Eizenberg Architecture Inc. was established in 1981 in California as a woman-owned firm that has become known for its imaginative, site-specific and people-oriented design approach. Their concerns include historic contexts, sustainable environments and socially-oriented projects. The firm designed the Simone Hotel, the first new single room occupancy hotel on “Skid Row” in Los Angeles in more than 30 years, and provided a master plan for the historic Farmers Market, which won the Westside Urban Forum Prize for Urban Design in 1991.

Koning Eizenberg Architecture has achieved recognition for its groundbreaking work in housing and community-based projects, receiving the Progressive Architecture First Award in 1987 for affordable housing in Santa Monica, and the National AIA Honor Awards for the Simone Hotel (1994) and the 31st Street House (1996).

The studio course Koning and Eizenberg will lead is titled “A School Near the Beach,” referring to a new middle school that will be designed in Santa Monica.

Gwathmey will be the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professr of Architectural Design. Gwathmey earned his Master of Architecture degree from Yale in 1962, winning both the William Wirt Winchester Fellowship as the outstanding graduate and a Fulbright Grant. Among his honors are the Brunner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (to which he was elected in 1976) and, in 1983, a Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In 1985, he received the first Yale Alumni Arts Award from the School of Architecture. In 1988, the Guild Hall Academy of Arts awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Medal in Visual Arts, followed in 1990 by a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Society of Architects.

Among his best known buildings are the Gwathmey residence in Amagansett, N.Y. (1967), the Cogan residence in East Hampton, N.Y. (1972), the SUNY Purchase dormitory (1973) and the addition to the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (1992).

Gwathmey has served as president of the board of trustees for the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1981.

Teaching with Gwathmey will be Deborah Berke, associate professor (adjunct) at the Yale School of Architecture. Berke is the architect of the new building of the Yale School of Art. The Gwathmey/Berke studio is titled “The Museum of Post-War Material Culture in Levittown, Long Island.”

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Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325