AIA Honors Leers Weinzapfel and Vietnam Memorial
The American Institute of Architects has announced the recipients of two of its highest honors. The 2007 AIA Architecture Firm Award has gone to the Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects (LWA) in recognition of their history of design excellence. And the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., by designer Maya Lin, was selected to receive the 2007 AIA Twenty-five Year Award.
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In his nomination statement for the Firm Award, David B. Greenbaum, FAIA said of Leers Weinzapfel: "Their commitment to the public realm and to the craft of building in dramatically complex projects represents a remarkable commitment to ingenuity, resourcefulness, and design excellence in the most extreme circumstance."
Architecture critic Robert Campbell, FAIA, according to Greenbaum, described Leers and Weinzapfel as "architects who take as much delight in a crisply machined joint as an old-time craftsperson would take in an ornamental carving. For them, modernism is an aesthetic idea. Their building expresses that conviction and triumphs in it."
The firm is headed by partners Andrea P. Leers, FAIA; Jane Weinzapfel, FAIA; Joe Pryse, AIA; and Josiah Stevenson, AIA. In 1982, principals Leers and Weinzapfel established the firm, which has become one of the most prestigious woman-owned firms in the United States.
"It would be nice to be gender blind," James Steward Polshek, FAIA observes, "but our social construct is not yet reconfigured to allow that luxury. The fact is that for a woman-owned firm to succeed as spectacularly as Leers Weinzapfel has required persistence, diligence, and inventiveness."
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Harvard University Science Center Expansion, Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, recipient of the 2007 AIA Architecture Firm Award.
Photo: Alan Karchmer/ Esto
Harvard Science Center.
Image: Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects
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