October 2, 2019
by Center for Architecture
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The Center for Architecture is preparing to celebrate the honorees of its 2019 Heritage Ball on October 24 5 at Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60. The Heritage Ball serves as the single largest funding source for the Center for Architecture, allowing it to fulfill its mission to educate the public about the value of architecture and design alongside its partner, AIA New York. Began in the 1980s, Heritage Ball has grown from a small party to an over 1,100-person gala attracting professionals from the architecture, engineering, construction, and real-estate industries. At this year’s event, the gala will honor Steven Holl Architects; Phyllis Lambert, FRAIC, Hon. FAIA, Hon. FRIBA; and Sharon Prince and Grace Farms.

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In appreciation of their significant contributions towards design excellence, AIA New York and Center for Architecture invites each honoree to select an academic program to receive scholarships for one of its students. This year, Steven Holl Architects has selected Helmuth Rosales of The Cooper Union; Phyllis Lambert has selected Andrew Keung of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Sharon Prince and Grace Farms has selected Isabel Campillo Valencia of Pratt Institute, School of Architecture.

Taking place during during Archtober, NYC’s Architecture and Design Month, the gala is an exciting event that honors the rich architectural heritage of New York City and celebrates the architects, officials, organizations, and professionals from related industries that continue the city’s tradition of design excellence. Get to know the honorees below.

President’s Award: Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl was born in 1947 in Bremerton, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington and pursued architecture studies in Rome in 1970. In 1976, he joined the Architectural Association in London and in 1977 established Steven Holl Architects. Considered one of America’s most influential architects, he is recognized for his ability to blend space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design. He specializes in seamlessly integrating new projects into contexts with particular cultural and historic importance.

Steven Holl has realized projects both in the United States and internationally, including the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland (1998); Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2002); the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri (2007); the Horizontal Skyscraper in Shenzhen, China (2009); the Linked Hybrid in Beijing, China (2009); the University of Iowa, Visual Arts Building (2016); Maggie’s Centre Barts in London, UK (2017); and the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University (2018).

Holl has been recognized with architecture’s most prestigious awards and prizes, most notably the 2016 VELUX Daylight Award in Architecture, the 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture, the 2012 AIA Gold Medal, the 2010 RIBA Jencks Award, and the first ever Arts Award of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards in 2009.

Holl is a tenured Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. He has also taught at the University of Washington, the Pratt Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Center for Architecture Award: Phyllis Lambert, FRAIC, Hon. FAIA, Hon. FRIBA
For Phyllis Lambert, architecture is a public concern. Architect, author, scholar, curator, conservationist, activist, and critic of architecture and urbanism, she is Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), which she founded in 1979 as an international research center and museum.

In June 1954, prior to proposing Mies van der Rohe as architect for the Seagram Building, Lambert wrote to the president, her father: “Your building is not only for the people of your companies who work there, but for all who pass by, for the area it is in, for New York City and for the rest of the world.” Her book Building Seagram is a cultural history of architecture, art, urban regulations, and real estate, as well as of conservation and stewardship in New York City.

In 1963 she earned her Master of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. In 1975 she founded Heritage Montreal and was instrumental in establishing the largest and most vital non-profit cooperative housing renovation project in North America. Lambert has continued to pursue social housing through the Fonds d’Investissement de Montreal, the only such investment fund in Canada.

A Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada and recipient of its Gold Medal, as well as an honorary Fellow of the AIA and the Royal Institute of British Architecture, Lambert was immensely pleased to receive the Golden Lion of Venice Architecture Biennale in honor of her life’s work.

NYC Visionary Award: Sharon Prince and Grace Farms
Sharon Prince is the President and Founder of Grace Farms Foundation, a private foundation established in 2009 to advance good through engagement with nature, arts, justice, community, and faith. Prince spear-headed the vision for Grace Farms, a new kind of public space that seamlessly blends architecture, art, and nature into a platform for people across sectors to convene and activate the Foundation’s initiatives. In 2010, she commissioned the Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA to design its accompanying River building.

Since opening in October 2015, Grace Farms, a place of grace and peace for all, has garnered numerous awards for contributions to architecture, environmental sustainability, and social good, including the AIA National 2017 Architecture Honor Award, Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Award for Social Good, and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Prince has fought to disrupt contemporary slavery and violence against women on a local and global scale. In 2016, she co-hosted a convening with the United Nations University entitled Fighting Human Trafficking in Conflict, which resulted in a published report to the United Nations Security Council and advocacy for UN Resolution 2331. In 2017, she received NOMI Network’s Abolitionist Award and Auburn Seminary’s Lives of Commitment Award. She holds a BS/BA and MBA from the University of Tulsa.

Prince spearheads an effort to illuminate the permanent imprint of slavery in building material supply chains. Grace Farms Foundation Architecture Construction Working Group convenes industry leaders and principals to address slavery in the built environment and create actionable outcomes.