The Board of Directors of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is pleased to announce that architect Antoine Predock, FAIA, is the recipient of the 2006 AIA Gold Medal. The AIA Gold Medal, given annually, is the highest honor the AIA confers on an architect. The Gold Medal honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. The award will be presented at the American Architectural Foundation Accent on Architecture Gala, February 10, 2006 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.
“I was thinking, is this happening? Am I dreaming?” said Predock when notified by AIA president Douglas L Steidl, FAIA, MRAIC, that he had been selected for the award. “I am deeply honored. In some ways I feel like my career is just starting, this is the ultimate. Thank you so much. I can really put the pedal to the medal now!”
Predock is the 62nd AIA Gold Medalist, joining the ranks of such visionaries as Thomas Jefferson (1993), Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Louis Sullivan (1944), LeCorbusier (1961), Louis Kahn (1971), I.M. Pei (1979), Cesar Pelli (1995) and last year’s recipient, Santiago Calatrava. In recognition of his legacy to architecture, Predock’s name will be chiseled into the granite Wall of Honor located in the lobby of the AIA headquarters in Washington, DC.
In nominating Predock for the award, Thomas S. Howorth, FAIA, chairman, AIA Committee on Design Gold Medal Committee, explained, “Arguably, more than any American architect of any time, Antoine Predock has asserted a personal and place-inspired vision of architecture with such passion and conviction that his buildings have been universally embraced.” Howorth continued, “Antoine Predock designs buildings that grow out of their unique landscapes, creating, at the same time, symbols that are fearlessly expressive and sincere, simultaneously complex and guileless.”
His approach to design is born out of his geographic surroundings, the American West, an open desert full of history and expansive space. The scale of Predock’s work ranges from the famed Turtle Creek house, built in 1993 for bird enthusiasts along a prehistoric trail in Texas, to a $285 million ballpark for the San Diego Padres that reinvents the concept of a stadium as a “garden” rather than a sports complex. His influence also reaches international sites, namely the new National Palace Museum in Taiwan. Additionally, his masterful integration of contemporary work in historical context, a skill for which he is well-known, is apparent in his buildings at Stanford and Rice Universities.
Physical interaction with the land plays a vital role in his design process and he is known for making the voices of his clients ring clearly throughout the entire project. It has been said by many that Predock’s work joins the “mind” of architecture with the “body,” and embeds both with a sense of spirituality that connects the land, the space, the client, and society together seamlessly.
Predock’s concentration of award-winning projects in the American West and throughout the United States are a testament to his unique ability to design highly contextual works. His list of national awards include: the American Architecture Award, Pima Community College Learning Center, Green Valley, AZ (2005); GSA Design Award, U. S. Federal Courthouse, El Paso, TX (2004); the Tucker Architectural Awards, Shadow House, Santa Fe, NM (2004); the AIA Western Mountain Region Honor Award, Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, Pueblo, CO (2004); USITT, Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts, Alto, NM (2004); and the AIA/New Mexico Honor Award, Shadow House, Santa Fe, NM (2004).
Predock attended architecture school at the University of New Mexico and graduated from Columbia University. Rather than trends or reactions, Predock’s approaches to architectural design, such as listening to the land, building with environmental sensitivity, and embracing all facets of a site’s culture, have shaped his philosophy from the beginning of his career. His spiritual connection to his work is credited as the reason that he has been, and continues to be, a legendary American architect. He currently practices from his home base just off historic Route 66.