Sebastian Treese

2021 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame Laureate Learn More

Jury Citation

2021 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame

In recognition of the exemplary work of his firm, the 2021 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame is awarded to Sebastian Treese. In the last decade, the firm of Sebastian Treese Architekten has completed dozens of projects composed in the classical language of architecture and urbanism. These include the design of beautiful, durable buildings and landscapes at a variety of scales, from single houses to urban ensembles.

The architecture of the firm is distinguished by its imaginative composition, refined construction and deliberate siting.  It is motivated by cultural continuity and environmental resilience. In spite of its popularity among citizens at large, building classically in Germany today remains a challenge. Both the government and the architectural establishment present challenges to traditionalist practices. In this respect, the design accomplishments of Sebastian Treese and his contributions to the process of architectural renewal in his country are all the more commendable.

Sebastian Treese established his eponymous firm in 2011; it represents a new generation of European architects with the intellectual grounding and commitment to carefully re-examine the nature of building in the modern world. Reinterpreting the lessons of the past to produce a new traditional architecture and urbanism that embodies the culture, climate and physical order of existing places and represents the values associated with open and just societies.

The direction of Treese’s firm is heavily influenced by his own upbringing in Mainz – a region of Germany with a palpable Roman heritage – as well as his family’s roots in Normandy. His architectural sensibility was largely formed by the contrast between the architecture that he experienced as a youth and the rich but fragmented architectural culture of Berlin, where he now lives. This award recognizes the leadership of Sebastian Treese in the practice of new traditional architecture and urbanism and consolidates his firm’s leading role in a growing movement to heed the distinguished design traditions of Germany as well as of Europe more broadly.

2021 Henry Hope Reed Award

The 2021 Henry Hope Reed Award is presented posthumously to John Reps, a renowned historian of urban planning whose work  has deeply influenced generations of architects and urbanists.  In the 1960’s and during a time of deep disregard for traditional urban form, his work was unique in documenting and promoting the development patterns that made the settlement of North America possible.

The leading authority on American urban cartography and iconography, Reps’ 1965 book The Making of Urban America was the beginning of a series of over a dozen books which explored in increasing detail the origin, growth and character of towns and cities in the United States.

Reps dedicated his career to scholarship, teaching at Cornell University from 1952 to 1987. As a planning consultant he also drafted various zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations for various towns in the State of New York.  Designated a “Planning Pioneer” by the American Planning Association, he was the father of modern American city planning history.

For thirty years from 1964 to 1994 he was the owner and publisher of Historic Urban Plans. This firm issued facsimiles of more than 500 town plans, city views, and maps originally published from 1493 to 1894. Many of these reproductions were made from original engravings and lithographs that were part of an extensive map collection that he began collecting in 1947.

The work of Reps is integral to the understanding and practice of architecture and urbanism today. The results of his extraordinary scholarship and urbanist advocacy have inspired two generations of designers and are quietly embedded in their buildings and places throughout the United States and around the world.