Yale School of Architecture Dean Reappointed for Third Five-Year Term
Yale University President Richard C. Levin announced today that Robert A.M. Stern has agreed to serve a third five-year term as dean of Yale School of Architecture, effective July 1, 2008.
In making his announcement, Levin cited Stern’s “unprecedented level of energy, leadership and organization” during his tenure as dean. “He has raised the profile of the School and strengthened its national and international reputation,” said Levin.
Since his appointment in 1998, Stern has transformed the Yale School of Architecture into an international hub of architectural discourse, giving faculty appointments to such leading talents as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers and creating a public forum for the world architectural intelligentsia to exchange ideas. Stern has hosted symposia and conferences on subjects ranging from the preservation of modernist buildings to retrospectives on Louis Kahn, Philip Johnson and Eero Saarinen and a recent colloquium in which critics, philosophers and practitioners met to discuss the architecture of sacred spaces. In 2002, Stern notably set the stage for an ideological duel between New Urbanist Leon Krier and Deconstructionist Peter Eisenman. The conversation between the two, who are old friends and teaching colleagues at the Yale School of Architecture, was later published as a book.
Another ambitious undertaking by Stern has been the introduction of regularly scheduled exhibitions at the School of Architecture throughout the year. Under his aegis, the ground floor of Paul Rudolph’s landmark Art + Architecture building has been filled variously with the inflatable figures of the art collective Ant Farm, models of the futuristic “3-D city” of the Dutch firm MVRDV and a display of the latest innovations in “pre-fab” by some of the nation’s top designers, to highlight only a few of the shows that have drawn visitors from around the world.
In 2004, Stern announced the creation of the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellowship, a unique opportunity for Yale architecture students to learn from a different internationally recognized property developer for each year. The first Bass Fellow was Houston-based real estate executive Gerald Hines, and subsequent Fellows have been Sir Stuart Lipton, Roger Madelin and Nick Johnson.
A 1965 graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, Stern also holds the title of J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture. Before coming to Yale as Dean, he was professor and director of the Historical Preservation Department of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, and was the first director of Columbia’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.
Stern also maintains an active practice in the New York firm of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, which he founded and where he is senior partner. Recent and current projects include Fifteen Central Park West in New York, Comcast Center in Philadelphia, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, the American Revolution Center at Valley Forge and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
Stern is perhaps the leading authority on the architecture and architectural history of New York, the city where he was born and still lives. A prolific writer on modern architecture, he is best known for the books he has co-authored focusing on New York’s architectural history through the decades. His most recent book in the series is the critically acclaimed “New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism from the Bicentennial to the Millennium.”
This year the Dean added the Governor’s Award for Excellence from The Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism to his long list of distinguished honors. New York Magazine, listing him as one of the 100 most influential New Yorkers in 2006, noted: “Stern is a powerhouse host, one who has shifted the city’s architectural center a little bit to the north.”
An indefatigable champion of modernist landmarks that have fallen out of favor, Stern will preside over the historic reopening next fall of Paul Rudolph’s once reviled, now revered Art + Architecture Building following an extensive renovation. The building will be renamed The Rudolph Building in honor of its architect.