University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design to Honor…

Award winner A. Eugene Kohn’s firm KPF is architect for Hudson Yards, the 26-acre Manhattan neighborhood. (Photograph: Connie Zhou, courtesy KPF)

Medals and Prizes will be presented at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Awards gala in New York City on October 21

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design has selected KPF cofounder A. Eugene Kohn as the 2019 recipient of the Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design, and the Regional Plan Association (RPA) Fourth Regional Plan as the inaugural recipient of the Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning. The honorees, and recipients of two accompanying scholarships for exceptional students, will be recognized at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Awards gala on Monday, October 21, 2019, at the IAC Building in New York City.

“This is an exciting and challenging time for the allied disciplines in architecture, planning, preservation, landscape architecture and fine arts,” said Fritz Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. “With these honors, we celebrate the pursuit of beauty and efficiency in today’s cross-disciplinary settings.”

The Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design was established in 2017 through a $1.25 million gift from Penn alumna Lori Kanter Tritsch (MArch’85), a member of the Board of Overseers at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and her partner and fellow Penn alumnus William P. Lauder, who holds a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School and is a Penn Trustee, to honor an under-recognized architect who has changed the course of design history, with a particular focus on the areas of energy conservation, environmental quality, and/or diversity.

“Over four decades, Gene Kohn has led one of the most versatile and productive firms of our time, committed throughout to environmental sustainability and boldly humanistic design,” said Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and Chair in the Department of Architecture. “Just as important, Gene inspires a new generation of leaders in architecture.”

The Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning was established by William Witte (C’73, MCP’75), an alumnus of the Weitzman School and member of the Board of Overseers, and his wife, Keiko Sakamoto, Esq. to recognize a firm, team, or professional for an exemplary plan that advances plan making in at least four of the following areas: social equity, environmental quality, design, public health, mobility, housing affordability, and economic development.

“The scope of the Fourth Regional Plan is just enormous, and the potential impact great, given the range of participants and legacy of previous plans,” said Lisa Servon, Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Weitzman School. “The proposals resulting from RPA’s considerable efforts are as admirable as the Plan’s four core values of equity, health, prosperity and sustainability.”

Kanter Tritsch Medal:

A. Eugene Kohn

A. Eugene Kohn FAIA RIBA JIA, is founder and chairman of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, (KPF), a 650-person firm and a preeminent signature in urban towers, master planning and environmental leadership. Over four decades, Kohn has shaped KPF’s global strategy and its profile as a world leader in all aspects of architectural practice. The firm’s wide-ranging, acclaimed projects include 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago (1983), The World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (1996), Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Ore. (1997), Roppongi Hills in Tokyo (2003), Unilever House, London (2007), and the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles (2015). KPF’s academic work includes an urban campus at Baruch College in New York (2001), the University of Michigan Ross School of Business (2009), and the University of Minnesota science center (2010). Recently, KPF completed the tallest towers in Hong Kong (International Commerce Centre, 2011) and Korea (Lotte World Tower, 2017). Kohn and KPF also designed two blocks of London’s Canary Wharf (1987) and oversaw the design of the master plan, platform, and four major buildings at Hudson Yards, the recently opened 26-acre Manhattan neighborhood built over an active railyard. One Vanderbilt, currently under construction, will soon become the tallest office tower in Midtown Manhattan. Last month, Kohn announced the 47-story Arthaus tower in Philadelphia.

“Throughout my 60-plus years of practice, I have sought to create buildings and environments that are sensitive to their contexts and evoke meaning in the lives of their users,” said Kohn (BArch’53, MArch’57), who holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. “It is a great honor to be recognized with the Kanter Tritsch Medal alongside my colleagues and rising talent honored in this year’s program.”

Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning:

Regional Plan Association of the United States (RPA)

Founded in 1922, Regional Plan Association is America’s most distinguished planning, research and advocacy organization. The independent, not-for-profit regional planning group works to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency and quality of life of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region. Since the 1920s, RPA has produced four landmark plans for the region, and in late 2017, RPA published the Fourth Regional Plan: Making the Region Work for All of Us, a wide-ranging set of recommendations for the region. Reflecting input from diverse stakeholders, the proposals include expanding the region’s transportation network, addressing affordability, rising to the challenge of climate change, and fixing the institutions that are failing the region. For nearly 100 years, RPA has developed thoughtful long-range plans to guide and improve the region’s economic health, environmental sustainability and quality of life. In this way, the region’s most significant public works, economic development and open space projects are rooted in RPA ideas and initiatives.

“Regional Plan Association is honored to accept the first ever Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning,” said Tom Wright, president and CEO of Regional Plan Association. “RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan: Making the Region Work for All of Us includes 61 recommendations to achieve greater equity, shared prosperity, better health, and sustainability across the metropolitan tri-state region. We thank the Witte-Sakamoto family and the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design for recognizing the value of our organization’s work.”

Diverse Juries of Leaders 

The jury for the Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning included Eugenie L. Birch, Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research & Education and Chair of the graduate group in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Weitzman School; Lisa Servon, the Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and Chair of the City and Regional Planning Department at the Weitzman School; Eleanor Sharpe (MCP’99), executive director, Philadelphia City Planning Commission; and Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School.

The jury for the Witte-Sakamoto Family Student Prize in City and Regional Planning included Barbara Faga, Professor of Practice in Urban Design, Rutgers University; Lisa Nutter, Partner, Side Car Social Finance, Philadelphia; Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School; and Bill Witte (C’73, MCP’75), chairman and CEO of Related California, and a member of the Weitzman School Board of Overseers.

The jury for the Kanter Tritsch Professional Medal included Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and Chair of Architecture at the Weitzman School, who is also founding principal, Archi-Tectonics, New York; Lori Kanter Tritsch (MArch’85), member of the Weitzman School Board of Overseers; Ferda Kolatan, associate professor of practice at the Weitzman School and the founding director of su11, New York; Marc Kushner (BArch’99), cofounding principal, Hollwich Kushner, and cofounding CEO, Architizer; and Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School.

The jury for the Kanter Tritsch Student Prize included Cecil Baker (BArch’67, MArch’68), principal and architect, Cecil Baker + Partners; Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and Chair of Architecture at the Weitzman School, who is also founding principal, Archi-Tectonics, New York; Homa Farjadi, principal, Frajadi Architects, London, and Professor of Practice, Weitzman School; Lori Kanter Tritsch (MArch’85), member of the Weitzman School Board of Overseers; and Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at the Weitzman School.

Detailed awardee profiles and imagery are available in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Awards press kit.

Recognizing Emerging Talent:

Student Awards

The accompanying student Prizes, given annually to continuing students, recognize their exceptional work and support the costs of each student’s final year of study in their respective programs.

The Kanter Tritsch Medal in Energy and Architectural Innovation is accompanied by a Prize for a Master of Architecture candidate entering the final year of study who demonstrates transformational thinking on the built environment and innovation in his or her approach to one or more challenges of energy, ecology, and social equity. The recipient of the second annual Prize, which carries a $50,000 scholarship, is Patrick William Danahy, recognized for work in computation and fabrication within the realm of sympathy and aesthetics. Danahy will apply his studies in the robotics lab under Assistant Professor of Architecture Robert Stuart-Smith and as a graduate assistant to his research abroad in machine learning and aesthetics, applied in his travel to survey French and Belgian Art Nouveau architecture.

Said Danahy of his 2019 Kanter Tritsch Prize, “Receiving the Prize has allowed me to continue this research in the spirit of dedication and commitment of the faculty here at the Penn and the Robotics Lab. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my passion, continuing research within the field of architecture with our supportive professors.”

The Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning is also accompanied by a Prize recognizing an outstanding planning student entering his or her final year in the Master of City and Regional Planning program for innovation and impact in planning. The Prize carries a $50,000 scholarship awarded through a competitive, blind review process by a jury of faculty members and invited practitioners. The recipient of the 2019 Prize is Amie Patel, who is recognized for her studies in Urban Design and how designs can work with the existing community fabric. Patel’s desire to work with local citizens and design with the community in mind reflects her studies and professional work in landscape architecture in Southern California before coming to the Weitzman School to study City and Regional Planning.

Said Patel of her 2019 Witte-Sakamoto Family Prize in City and Regional Planning, “I have always been interested in who would be using the designed spaces we create as planners, urban designers and landscape architects, and how they would affect the larger community. This Prize means a great deal to me as it allows me to continue to focus my work around how people and communities interact with the built environment.”

The Medals and Prizes will be presented at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Awards gala at 6:00 pm Monday, October 21, 2019, at the IAC Building, 527 West 18th Street, in New York City.

The Kanter Tritsch Prize and Witte-Sakamoto Family Prize in City and Regional Planning build on several initiatives at the Weitzman School to advance design excellence, building performance and resilience. To support the next generation of planners, architects, landscape architects, preservationists, and artists educated at the School, contact Jeffrey Snyder, assistant dean for development and alumni relations, at jsnyder2@design.upenn.edu or 215.898.8738.

About the Donors

Lori Kanter Tritsch completed her Master of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1983. She began her career at Eli Attia Architects, New York, focusing primarily in the design of high rises. In 1987, she joined Miller Construction Company, Jersey City, to work on commercial and industrial design projects. Currently she works in New York City designing commercial interiors and private commissions, largely in high-end residential works. Her firm is called Graph Architecture + Design, 654 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10065, suite 707. The firm focuses on high-end residential work and real estate development.

William Witte is chairman and CEO of Related California, an affiliate of the international real estate development firm based in New York. Witte, who founded Related California in 1989, oversees Related’s multifamily and mixed-use development activity in the state. Previously, Witte served as deputy mayor for Housing and Neighborhoods under Mayor Art Agnos, where he oversaw the City of San Francisco’s housing, development and redevelopment activities. He was director of Housing and Economic Development under Mayor Dianne Feinstein and served as an appointed commissioner of the San Francisco Housing Authority. Witte earned a Bachelor of Arts from Penn in 1973 and a Master in City Planning in 1975.

About Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

KPF is one of the world’s preeminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients that include some of the most forward-thinking developers, corporations, entrepreneurs, and institutions in the United States and around the world. The firm’s extensive portfolio spans more than 40 countries and includes a wide range of projects from office and residential buildings to civic and cultural spaces to educational facilities. Driven by individual design solutions, rather than a predetermined style, KPF’s mission is to create buildings and places of the utmost quality and contextual sensitivity, providing a valuable impact on the cities they inhabit.

About the Regional Plan Association

Regional Plan Association is an independent, not-for-profit civic organization that develops and promotes ideas to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency and quality of life of the New York metropolitan area. We conduct research on transportation, land use, housing, good governance and the environment. We advise cities, communities and public agencies. And we advocate for change that will contribute to the prosperity of all residents of the region. Since the 1920s, RPA has produced four landmark plans for the region, the most recent was released in November 2017. For more information, please visit http://www.rpa.org or fourthplan.org.

About the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design

One of twelve Schools at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation. Consistently ranked among the top design schools in the U.S., the Weitzman School enrolls more than 700 students in 13 degree and 16 certificate programs. Among the Weitzman School’s renowned architecture alumni are Cecil Baker (BArch’67, MArch’68), Denise Scott Brown (MCP’60, MArch’65), Stephen Kieran (MArch’76), Barton Myers (MArch’64), Adele Santos (MArch/MCP’68), Mark Shoemaker (MArch’78), James Timberlake (MArch’77), and Charles Waldheim (MArch’89). For more, visit http://www.design.upenn.edu.

Published at Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 +0000