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Stephen Breyer

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: "To Understand a Building, Go There, Open your Eyes, and Look!"

09:30 - 8 August, 2018
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer: "To Understand a Building, Go There, Open your Eyes, and Look!" , © Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL
© Nina Vidic, via ELEMENTAL. ImageUC Innovation Center / ELEMENTAL

Six years ago Susan Szenasy and I had the honor of interviewing Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for Metropolis magazine. While he was a federal appeals judge in Boston, Breyer played a key role in shepherding the design and construction of the John Joseph Moakley United State Courthouse, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. In 2011 Justice Breyer joined the jury of the Pritzker Prize. Given his long involvement with architecture, I thought it would be fun to catch up with him. So, on the final day of court before breaking for the summer recess, I talked to Justice Breyer about his experience as a design client, how to create good government buildings, and why public architecture matters.

Stephen Breyer and Zaha Hadid: New Jurors for the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury

12:36 - 14 September, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, as well as widely acclaimed Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Zaha Hadid of the United Kingdom, will join the jury that selects Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates, it was announced today by Thomas J. Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation which sponsors the prize.

In addition to his distinguished career in the law, Justice Breyer has a long history of interest in art and architecture, having authored the foreword to a book titled, “Celebrating The Courthouse: A Guide For Architects, Their Clients, And The Public” in 2006. Further, in 2009, the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies honored him with the first Leonore and Walter H. Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts at a ceremony where the chairman of the foundation, Jo Carole Lauder, said, “His passion for ensuring that federal buildings — where our country’s democratic principles are upheld — represent modern day thinking and culture is truly admirable. Since the birth of our nation, America’s ever changing democracy has been captured through art and architecture and, thanks to Justice Breyer, this legacy will continue.”

Hadid, who received the Pritzker Prize in 2004, has since become one of the world’s busiest architects with projects in numerous countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Spain and Italy. The distinguished architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, who at the time was a Pritzker juror, said: “Zaha Hadid is one of the most gifted practitioners of the art of architecture today.”

More after the break.