The School of Architecture will host two lectures, “Architecture and Our Democratic Values,” by Robert A. Peck, commissioner of public buildings for the General Service Administration on Nov. 14 (Monday); and “Architecture and Place,” by Robert A.M. Stern, founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and dean of the Yale School of Architecture on Nov. 16 (Wednesday). Both lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Bond Hall Auditorium.
Peck is the 2011 winner of the School of Architecture’s $50,000 Henry Hope Reed Award and Stern is the winner of the School of Architecture’s $200,000 Richard H. Driehaus Prize, both administered by Notre Dame. As commissioner of public Buildings, Peck is responsible for 370 million square feet of government-owned and leased space, accommodating one million federal workers. He has also been president of the D.C. Preservation League, an appointee to the District of Columbia’s Board of Education and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. In “Architecture and Our Democratic Values,” Peck will address how federal buildings reflect the aspirations of the American public.
“To paraphrase Jefferson and the capital commissioners of 1791, public buildings should elevate the building arts; they should be elegant and express confidence in the future,” Peck says. “It is not about style. To paraphrase Senator Moynihan, public buildings say something about our politics. Politics in the best sense: politics as expressing our shared values.”
Robert A. M. Stern, whose influential designs have revitalized traditional architecture, will discuss “Architecture and Place.” Stern’s architecture is rooted in the principles, values and ideals of traditional architecture. His Comcast Center, a prismatic glass curtainwall office tower in Philadelphia, carries forward the proportions of the classical obelisk. His acclaimed residential tower 15 Central Park West recaptures the spirit of New York’s great pre-war apartment houses.
His current projects include the design of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University and the Stayer Center for Business Executive Education at Notre Dame.
The $200,000 Richard H. Driehaus Prize is presented annually to a distinguished architect and represents the most significant recognition for classicism in the contemporary built environment. The Henry Hope Reed Award is given to an individual working outside the practice of architecture who has supported the cultivation of the traditional city, its architecture and art through writing, planning or promotion. It is also presented annually through the Notre Dame School of Architecture.