Washington DC-based architect David M Schwarz has been selected as the recipient of the University of Notre Dame's 2015 Richard H. Driehaus Prize, which honors an architect whose work represents "the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society." In a press release from the University of Notre Dame, Schwarz is credited for his "belief in humanism that emphasizes pedestrian-friendly and socially active architecture," and praised for his "historically informed designs create lively public environments that meet the needs of diverse audiences."
Schwarz is the President and CEO of David M Schwarz Architects, which he founded in 1976, and also chairman of the Yale School of Architecture Dean’s Council. His firm has developed from their early acclaim in historic preservation, now taking on projects of all sizes and programs - perhaps most notably bringing traditional design approaches to what are usually seen as non-traditional typologies such as stadiums and large commercial buildings.
"David Schwarz... has woven traditional principles with modernity throughout various scales and building types that characterize our contemporary world," said Driehaus Jury Chair Michael Lykoudis. "His approach to significant commercial and institutional buildings as well as urban design indicates his sensitivity to how buildings’ characters contribute to a sense of place. His firm’s designs for large buildings usually thought of as the domain of engineers — such as sports arenas and stadiums — illustrate how classical, traditional and modern languages of architecture can be used to re-imagine the scale of these very large structures and successfully connect them to their communities."
"David Schwarz has done as much as any architect today to bring traditional architecture into public view, and to make it part of living, active communities," added Paul Goldberger, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a member of the Driehaus Prize jury. "If there is any architect who truly understands the concept of place, it is David Schwarz."
Established in 2003 through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize is the most significant recognition traditional design in the contemporary built environment. Schwarz will receive the $200,000 prize during a March 21 ceremony in Chicago.
- Adele Chatfield-Taylor (president emerita of the American Academy in Rome)
- Robert Davis (developer and founder of Seaside, Florida)
- Paul Goldberger (contributing editor at Vanity Fair)
- Léon Krier (architect and urban planner)
- Demetri Porphyrios (principal of Porphyrios Associates)
- Witold Rybczynski (Meyerson Professor Emeritus of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania)