Culot Compilation

Maurice Culot

2019 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame Laureates Learn More

Jury Citation

2019 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame

The 2019 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame is awarded to Maurice Culot for his instrumental role in formulating, disseminating, and encouraging the ideas and values of traditional architecture and urbanism. 

His career parallels the creation of the modern traditional movement. From the beginning, he led the collection and retrieval of knowledge and created the means of sharing that knowledge through publications. Through to his current practice, ARCAS, which has an international reputation for residential real estate and hotels that adapt to local social context, climate and culture, the arc of Culot’s career shows his continuous dedication to the improvement of the built environment. 

Culot founded the Archives of Modern Architecture (AAM) in Brussels and later established the journal by the same name, organizing conferences and exhibitions on architecture and urbanism. The journal had a profound impact on the careers of European architects, publishing, among other things, projects from numerous future Driehaus Prize laureates including as Léon Krier, Quinlan Terry and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil. In 1980 he created with Philippe Rotthier the Prix de la Reconstruction de la Ville Européenne , awarding new traditional architecture and urbanism projects, furthering the movement by providing public recognition of excellence in the field. 

During his early efforts in the 1970s, when the city of Brussels was growing and developing rapidly, Culot, with colleagues that included the sociologist René Schoonbrodt, formed the Atelier de Recherches et d’Action Urbaines (ARAU) to spearhead citizen initiatives around Bruxelles opposing destructive redevelopment plans for the city. With students, Culot and his associates popularized the idea of counter projects, promoting an alternative for the city of Brussels, one which valued tradition and the strong architectural heritage of Belgium. These projects looked to the local vernacular architecture and urbanism for principles to guide their design.  Principles which included resilient and adaptable buildings, mixed use and pedestrian proximities and scales, and a sense of place and beauty.  

Culot’s organizations and collaborations in publications, counter-proposals and prizes, as well as his teaching and lecturing worldwide, have influenced generations of architects and urbanists.  Culot made it possible to recover the knowledge of the elements and principles that have defined the best urban environments across time and place that was nearly lost, providing a brighter future for cities, towns and villages around the globe.

2019 Henry Hope Reed Award

The 2019 Henry Hope Reed Award is awarded to Carl Laubin, a renowned painter in the classical tradition, for his artistic sensitivity and the didactic nature of his work with respect to architecture and urbanism. In this digital age, Laubin creates beautiful paintings by hand with extraordinary skill and an ability to connect his painting to a larger body of knowledge. His work expresses ideas that embrace architecture and urbanism as a continuity, celebrating the commonality of cultures through time and place.

Many of Laubin’s paintings are virtual encyclopedias of various architects’ work. These highly researched compositions reflect the historical collaboration between painters and architects illustrating the balance between nature and the city, the intellectual explorations and developments of architects throughout time. Through his capriccios, he imagines fictive worlds where the works of a single architect or a group of architects come together in a utopian urban and rural setting that outlines a didactic understanding of the balance of nature and the built environment.  Laubin’s work reflects the complexity of both the structure of the painting and the composition of the buildings, with each building relating to the others and to its context.  Through the thematic and formal relationships in his paintings Laubin asks us questions about both how the world is and how it ought to be. 

Much like the paintings of Claude Lorrain and Canaletto who offered lessons in architecture, urbanism and landscapes, architects have also found paintings as a useful method of speaking to the public, and this aspect of craft is an often under-recognized component of the traditional movement. Carl Laubin has brought this practice into modern usage and his work continues to inspire and teach architects and artists.