Diller Scofidio + Renfro Named 34th Louis I. Kahn Award Recipient


Gattuso Development Partners Joins as Presenting Sponsor

Philadelphia, PA, April 25, 2019 – The architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro - designers behind the High Line, the transformation of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Shed and the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - will be honored by the Center for Architecture and Design with their 34th Louis I. Kahn Award accompanied by a talk and exhibition about their work. The presentation will be held at the University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium on the evening of Tuesday, June 25th, 2019.

The annual Louis I. Kahn Award, founded in 1983, is Philadelphia's signature event honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of architecture. The event celebrates these achievements in memory of the storied career of Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn - widely considered the most important Modernist architect of America - and designer of such famous structures as the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California; the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh; and the Richards Medical Research Laboratories at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The event raises funds to provide free design education to children in Philadelphia, both through the Charter High School for Architecture + Design (CHAD), the first school of its kind in the nation, and through the Architecture in Education (AIE) program of the Center for Architecture and Design, which brings practicing architects into public school classrooms to teach design. CHAD encourages youth from under-represented and under-served communities to pursue careers in the fields of architecture and design. AIE Introduces children to the fields of architecture and design while empowering them to use design to shape their homes, their neighborhoods, and their city.

Founded in 1981, Diller Scofidio +Renfro is a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. With a focus on cultural and civic projects, DS+R’s work addresses the changing role of institutions and the future of cities.  The studio is based in New York and is comprised of over 100 architects, designers, artists and researchers, led by four partners - Elizabeth Diller,Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro, and Benjamin Gilmartin. Perhaps their most anticipated project, The Shed, opened this April where the High Line meets Hudson Yards in New York. The Shed is an 8-level arts center dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. 

The award ceremony will be accompanied by an exhibition focused on Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s work, opening May 16th at the Center for Architecture and Design. Sharing stories behind some of the firm’s most celebrated projects, it will explore their work through sketches, video, renderings, photography, and other media.

Past awardees include: Bjarke Ingels, architect of Google headquarters, Sir David Adjaye, architect of the National Museum of African American Museum in Washington D.C., Lord Norman Foster, architect of Comcast Innovation + Technology Center; Peter Bohlin, FAIA, architect of Apple’s iconic glass cube; Daniel Liebskind, BDA, architect of the original Freedom Tower concept; Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, architect of the Comcast Center; Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, architect of the Kimmel Center; and César Pelli, FAIA, architect of Cira Center.

The 2019 Louis I. Kahn Award is generously supported by Gattuso Development Partners, presenting sponsor. Gattuso Development Partners is a developer of exceptional, sustainable high-performance workplaces. Led by former Liberty Property Trust leaders, John S. Gattuso, President and CEO, and Anne Cummins, Managing Partner, the Gattuso team has played a key role in reshaping the Philadelphia skyline and revitalizing its urban landscape.


About Louis I. Kahn

Louis Isadore Kahn was born in Pärnu, Estonia in 1901, emigrating to Philadelphia in 1906. A student of Philadelphia’s Central High School and subsequently the University of Pennsylvania, Kahn is considered one of the most influential architects in the second half of the twentieth century according to his biography on The Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s website. His style, based largely on geometric shapes, is most noted as being heavy and monumental. Kahn’s notable projects include the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA; the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX; and the Library of the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH, Kahn was also a renowned teacher at Yale, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, and Princeton.

About Charter High School for Architecture + Design

Founded in 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture, The Charter High School for Architecture + Design is a learning community committed to an innovative program integrating the design process with the mastery of a strong liberal arts education. The school offers each student the opportunity for success and the preparation for life-long learning and responsible citizenship. CHAD is a thoughtful academic environment that engenders love of learning, intellectual curiosity, and new ways of seeing, and prepares students for higher education. For more information visit: www.chadphila.org

About the Center / Architecture + Design

An independent non-profit, the Center was founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia). The Center provides the public with a place and with programs to explore architecture, urban planning, and design, allowing us all to understand how these creative professions affect us in our daily lives. Using Philadelphia's distinctive breadth of architecture, pioneering urban design, and diverse manufacturing heritage as the foundation for discussion, we educate the public through exhibitions, guest speakers, hands-on workshops, design competitions, city-wide festivals, and children’s programming. The Center brings together architects, designers, developers, thought leaders, and the public under one roof and also provides office space for AIA Philadelphia and the Community Design Collaborative. The Center is open to the public five days a week. For more information visit: philadelphiacfa.org.

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