Page N1.2 . 26 January 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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  • AIA Honors Calatrava, Murphy/Jahn
  • Chicago Does Stars
  • Boston Does Building 2004

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    AIA Honors Calatrava, Murphy/Jahn


    In nominating him for the award, the AIA Committee on Design wrote: "Calatrava's work is like music: well orchestrated. It is architecture that delights and finds new meaning each time it is experienced. His architecture expands the vision and expresses the energy of the human spirit, captivating the imagination and delighting us in the wonders of what sculptural form and dynamic structure can accomplish."

    Calatrava was born in Valencia, Spain and there studied architecture at the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura. He studied engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, where he established his first office. He quickly gained acclaim as a bridge designer, beginning with the Bach de Roda Bridge for the 1984 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

    Calatrava's firm opened a second office in Paris in 1989, a third in Valencia in 1991, and a fourth recently in New York, where he is working on the transportation hub for the World Trade Center.

    That project's client, Joseph J. Seymour, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, summed up the influence of Calatrava's work: "It is my firm belief that Mr. Calatrava's glass-and-steel winged building will one day serve as an inspiring architectural icon for New York City, rivaling some of the city's more famous transportation facilities, including Grand Central Station."

    Murphy/Jahn Receives Firm Award

    While the Gold Medal highlights the work of an individual, the AIA Firm Award recognizes the teamwork that is really behind most contemporary architecture. The Chicago firm Murphy/Jahn has received the 2005 AIA Architecture Firm Award. Previous recipients include Skidmore Owings and Merrill, The Miller/Hull Partnership, and Lake/Flato Architects.

    The award nomination described the 65-member firm as combining "futuristic vision, boundless energy, and steady passion for the good which wonderful American architecture can provide to people everywhere." On hearing the news, firm principal Helmut Jahn, FAIA explained: "We have a great team. We're putting forward in architecture what we believe is the next step to solving the problems of the profession in the future."

    The 60-year-old Chicago firm has always been known for its progressive approach to technology and design. Jahn coined the term "Archi-neering" to express the synergistic, nonhierarchal convergence of architecture and engineering within the practice. It describes Murphy/Jahn's constant team collaboration, with multiple disciplines both inside and outside the firm.

    The firm attributes its success to a talented staff and an open culture that honors individual creativity and nurtures teamwork. The team has received many accolades for its work throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and across the United States.

    The firm concentrates on office buildings, highrises, airports, other transportation-related works, convention centers, and commercial centers. Their large airports in Munich and Bangkok act as icons for those cities, and the firm has added significantly to the skylines of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Berlin.

    Of note are the German buildings: Sony Center in Berlin, the Messeturm in Frankfurt, and the Deutsche Post tower in Bonn.

    In supporting the firm's nomination, Chicago architecture critic Blair Kamin wrote, "The firm is producing some of the world's most technologically advanced, formally sophisticated, and urbanistically significant buildings. And its best work is still ahead... Murphy/Jahn's enlightened architecture does not simply comment on our times. It engages the world in order to transform it."

    Other awards announced in December 2004 are the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education, given to retired professor Edward Allen, FAIA, the Whitney M. Young Jr., Award for social responsibility, given to former head of the Urban League, Stanford R. Britt, FAIA, and the Edward C. Kemper Award for service to the profession of architecture, given to Norbert W. Young Jr., FAIA, president of McGraw-Hill Construction.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...



    ArchWeek Image

    The Auditorio de Tenerife by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, the 2005 AIA Gold Medalist.
    Photo: Alan Karchmer/Esto

    ArchWeek Image

    An Olympic stadium in Athens, by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA.
    Photo: AP/World Wide Photos

    ArchWeek Image

    Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay, Redding, California, by Santiago Calatrava, FAIA.
    Photo: Alan Karchmer/Esto

    ArchWeek Image

    The Chicago firm Murphy/Jahn, Inc., recipient of the 2005 AIA Firm Award.
    Photo: Murphy/Jahn

    ArchWeek Image

    Deutsche Post tower in Bonn, Germany, by Murphy/Jahn.
    Photo: Andreas Keller

    ArchWeek Image

    Bayer Headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, by Murphy/Jahn.
    Photo: Andreas Keller

    ArchWeek Image

    Richard J. Daley Center in Chicago, by Murphy/Jahn.
    Photo: Hedrich-Blessing

    ArchWeek Image

    United Airlines Terminal in Chicago, by Murphy/Jahn.
    Photo: Timothy Hursley


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