The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced the winners of its annual architectural awards Wednesday. The architecture awards, which were established by the New York–based society in 1955, honors top individuals and practices in the profession. The winners also receive cash prizes.
Jurors Elizabeth Diller, Henry Cobb, Peter Eisenman Kenneth Frampton, Hugh Hardy, Steven Holl, Thom, Mayne, James Polshek, Robert A.M. Stern, Billie Tsien, and Todd Williams selected the five winners from a pool of 27 finalists who were nominated by members of the Academy.
The 2017 winners are:
Diébédo Francis Kéré Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize, $20,000
The Berlin-based, Burkina Faso–born architect has designed numerous projects in his home country including Lycée Schorge, the Center for Health Care and Social Promotion and a high school in Dano. He will also be building this summer’s Serpentine Pavilion in London. In her citation, Tsien called the architect “an alchemist” of local materials and technologies.
Paul Goldberger Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, $10,000
The Pulitzer prize-winning critic and educator is one of architecture’s most prominent critical voices. He has published numerous books—notably, a biography of Frank Gehry—and his articles have appeared in periodicals including RECORD, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, where he is a contributing editor. Frampton called Goldberger “the doyen of American architectural critics” for “making the topic readily accessible to the society at large.”
Theaster Gates Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, $10,000
Gates, an artist who is a founder of the Rebuild Foundation and the director of Arts and Public life at the University of Chicago, creates social and cultural projects across the South Side of Chicago, notably the Stony Island Arts Bank, the Archive House, and Black Cinema House. His work has been exhibited at the Fondazione Prada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Walter Hood Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, $10,000
The Oakland-based landscape architect has completed projects including the Broad Museum plaza in L.A. and the Arthur Ross Terrace at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City. Through such works, Cobb said, Hood is “dissolving the boundaries between landscape architecture, urban design, and public art.”
John Ronan Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, $10,000
The architect, also based in Chicago, has designed numerous educational and cultural projects in the city including the Poetry Foundation, Erie Elementary Charter School, South Shore International College Prep High School, and the Gary Comer Youth Center. Ronan, said Williams, “continues Chicago’s history of serious architecture of national and international significance.”
The recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony in New York this May.