Robert A.M. Stern Receives Highest Prize for Traditional Architecture

Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert A. M. Stern (M.Arch. ‘65), whose influential designs have been credited with revitalizing traditional architecture, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture. Stern will receive $200,000 and a model of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a March 26 ceremony in Chicago.

Stern will donate the cash award to Yale.

As founder and senior partner of Robert A. M. Stern Architects, and as dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Stern has built a reputation as a modern traditionalist architect. In his work as an architect, as a scholar and as a teacher, he has been dedicated to reconnecting the present and future with the past, building upon what went before to extend the trajectory of architecture.


Stern’s work as an architect is rooted in the principles, values, and ideals of classicism and traditional architecture. His noted works include Comcast Center, a prismatic glass office tower in Philadelphia, which carries forward the proportions of the classical obelisk; the acclaimed residential tower 15 Central Park West, which recaptures the spirit of New York’s great pre-war apartment houses; and the influential plan for Celebration, Florida, which is grounded on a decades-long study of traditional town planning. His current projects include the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and two new undergraduate residential colleges in the Gothic mode at Yale. In his writings and in his long and distinguished teaching career, he has worked to reopen the discourse between the new and what went before. A committed preservationist, he has helped raise public awareness of the importance of architecture to contemporary life.

“More than any other practicing architect today, Bob Stern has brought classicism into the public realm and the mainstream of the profession, reinvigorating it for generations to come. We are honored to have him among the Driehaus Prize laureates,” says Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize Jury chair and the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture.

Through the lecture series, symposia and exhibitions that have become regularly scheduled public events during his 12-year tenure as dean, the School of Architecture has become a forum for internationally acclaimed scholars, critics and practitioners in diverse fields to exchange ideas that help to shape contemporary architectural discourse. The Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellowship, which brings prominent leaders in the private and public sectors of the development community to teach at YSoA, is one of the many innovations Stern has brought to realization as dean.

In addition to making a lasting impact on the Yale campus through projects he has designed — which include the Greenberg Conference Center — Stern was a major force behind the preservation and renaissance of one of the University’s most renowned landmarks, Paul Rudolph Hall. Formerly known as the Art & Architecture Building, the completely renovated and refurbished building has become the center of a dynamic new arts complex and was one of the last achievements of the late architect Charles Gwathmey.

Robert A.M. Stern is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and received the AIA New York Chapter’s Medal of Honor in 1984 and the Chapter’s President’s Award in 2001. Mr. Stern received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal from the Municipal Art Society of New York in 2009 and the tenth Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum in 2008. In 2007, he received both the Athena Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Board of Directors’ Honor from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America. As founder and Senior Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, he personally directs the design of each of the firm’s projects.

He has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad on both historical and contemporary topics in architecture. He is the author of several books, including “New Directions in American Architecture” (Braziller, 1969; revised edition, 1977). He is the co-author of an award-winning series on the architecture and urbanism of New York City from 1890 to 2000. He was also host of the acclaimed PBS television series, “Pride of Place: Building the American Dream.” Fifteen books on Stern’s work have been published. His work has been exhibited at numerous galleries and universities and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, the Denver Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Established in 2003 through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize honors the best practitioners of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world. The Driehaus Prize represents the most significant recognition for classicism in the contemporary built environment.

Recipients were selected by a jury comprised of Richard H. Driehaus (founder and chair of Driehaus Capital Management), Michael Lykoudis ( the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture), Adele Chatfield-Taylor (president of the American Academy in Rome), Robert Davis (developer and founder of Seaside, Florida), Paul Goldberger (architecture critic for The New Yorker), Léon Krier (inaugural Driehaus Prize laureate), and David M. Schwarz (principal of David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc.).

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345