Peter Bohlin - AIA Gold Medal
by William Lebovich
On New York's Fifth Avenue, people approach the Apple Store's glass cube, often first walk around it, then enter and descend by the glass stairs to the below-ground showroom. This store is not only the icon for Apple Inc., but also an exemplar of the architecture of Peter Bohlin: it is an original statement, powerful yet minimalist, that enhances its surroundings and respects the human scale while creating an invigorating sense of movement, pulling in shoppers and spectators in staggering numbers, 24 hours a day.
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In recognition of such exhilarating works as this, Bohlin has been named the 66th recipient of the AIA Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects, an award that has previously gone to such prominent architects as I.M. Pei, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Santiago Calatrava. Unlike many of his predecessors, Bohlin's body of work does not fit into any single style or other simplistic characterization.
In fact, his supporters praise him not only for his sensitivity to site, materials, and clients' needs, but for avoiding stylistic disputes. In Bohlin's low-key and characteristically nonconfrontational manner, he downplays the issue by describing himself as a soft modernist.
A Humanistic Practitioner
From the beginning of his career, Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA, has chosen his own approach to design and to the practice of architecture.
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