Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov

2018 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame Laureates Learn More

Jury Citation

2018 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame

The 2018 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame is awarded to Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov of Paris for their outstanding achievements in introducing human scale and proportion and the grace of classical architecture to large public housing developments in France and Holland, creating a sense of place as well as enhancing urban security and civic welfare.

Many suburbs and new towns created in the past 70 years have gained notoriety for the abysmal quality of their built environment.   In addition, the poor design of public housing projects has resulted in monumental social failure both in the United States and abroad.  By contrast, the social housing projects and civic buildings designed by Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov, under identical economic and political conditions as other contemporaries, have been extraordinarily successful with residents, users, developers and public officials.

The radical redevelopment of Plessis-Robinson (1990–2017) a notorious working-class suburb, was realized under extremely difficult political conditions. With the Breitmans as principle architects, a neglected neighborhood of large scale housing blocks with few civic and commercial spaces was transformed into a thriving and proud city of the Ile-de-France and Région Parisienne. Splendid new avenues, squares, boulevards and parks are lined by beautiful street facades and with a focus on elegant public buildings.

The same success was seen in the Breitman’s remarkable transformation of coal-mining settlements of the Pas de Calais in the mid-1990s using regional architectural vernaculars, changing soulless mass housing into inviting and livable urban quartiers and villages.

Similarly, in Amsterdam the Breitmans seamlessly integrated the large new Aya Sofya Mosque (1997-2010) and surrounding terrace-buildings with the social and urban fabric of the Dutch capital city, completing and enriching a monotonous suburban location and skyline.

Unlike so many recent urban interventions, the work of the Breitmans takes its place in and inspiration from historical cities, breathing new life into beloved and time-tested architectural and urban patterns. Their developments contribute momentously to the enterprise of creating and preserving attractive and thriving urban communities that are sustainable, accessible and elevate the cultural life of their denizens

Read the jury citation in French.

2018 Henry Hope Reed Award

The 2018 Henry Hope Reed Award is awarded to Torsten Kulke, chair of the Gesellschaft Historischer Neumarkt Dresden (GHND), for his outstanding leadership in the difficult reconstruction of the destroyed Neumarkt.

After the creation of the GHND in 1999, Kulke’s outstanding leadership enabled the organization to amass the political will to professionally manage the extensive reconstruction of the Neumarkt against the systematic resistance of the architectural establishment. Under his determined and inspired guidance, the association collected 63,338 signatures of Dresden citizens expressing a “Yes for the Historical Neumarkt”, a foundational civic act that inspires and legitimizes the reconstruction of Dresden’s historical Altstadt to this day.

Driven by private investments without state or municipal subsidies, the initiative involves rebuilding over 70 buildings on surviving foundations, in the traditional urban block- and lot-forms, with varying numbers of floors and most importantly with the traditional architecture, roofline, materials, adornment and color.

The reconstruction of the Historical Neumarkt at Dresden over the past two decades is an extraordinary achievement that has been met with astonishment and delight around the world. It is unique in Germany and indeed in the world in its ambition to resuscitate the lost historic heart of a city destroyed decades ago by war.  It is hoped that this recognition will reinforce Kulke’s and the GHND’s authority and encourage other projects of reconstruction and new traditional architecture in and around Dresden as well as similar remarkable initiatives already underway in Berlin, Frankfurt-am-Main, and Potsdam.

Read the jury citation in German.