The American Institute of Architects announced that Alexander Cooper, FAIA, Daniel Feil, FAIA, and Robert Peck, Hon. AIA, are the recipients of the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture, which recognizes excellence in architectural advocacy and achievement.
AIA also recognized cultureNOW, a pro bono organization started by design professionals who banded together in response to the 9/11 tragedy, and the Rice Design Alliance, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders and educators who work to foster public engagement with architecture, as recipients of the 2012 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement.
The Collaborative Achievement award “recognizes and encourages distinguished achievements of allied professionals, clients, organizations, architect teams, knowledge communities, and others who have had a beneficial influence on or advanced the architectural profession,” AIA said.
The award recipients will be honored and receive their awards at the 2012 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington D.C.
Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture
The Thomas Jefferson Award recognizes excellence in three categories:
• Category One: private-sector architects who have established a portfolio of accomplishment in the design of architecturally distinguished public facilities;
• Category Two: public-sector architects who manage or produce quality design within their agencies; and
• Category Three: public officials or other individuals who by their role of advocacy have furthered the public’s awareness and/or appreciation of design excellence.
Category One: Alexander Cooper, FAIA
After graduating from Yale with an architecture degree, Cooper began his career in public service with New York City mayor John Lindsay’s administration, AIA said.
He served as director of design at the New York City Housing and Development Administration from 1968 until 1971, when he became director of the Urban Design Group within the city’s planning department.
| Alexander Cooper, FAIA|
In that position, which he held until 1973, Cooper guided planning, design and zoning issues citywide. From 1973 until 1979, Cooper was the director of the Urban Design Program at Columbia University, and also served on New York City’s planning commission.
As the head of Cooper, Robertson & Partners, a New York-based firm Cooper co-founded in 1979, he has been instrumental in developing “virtually all of New York City’s most revered public spaces,” AIA said.
Also, after the events of 9/11, Cooper’s firm prepared a security plan so 30,000 workers could safely return to work in Lower Manhattan, helped select a site for the 09/11 memorial, and planned which streets should continue through the affected area, AIA added.
More information about Cooper.
Category Two: Daniel Feil, FAIA
Feil began his career in 1971 as a planning architect for the U.S. Navy, where he developed master plans and site studies for facilities and infrastructure valued at more than $2 billion.
In 1986, he took on the job of National Airport site design manager with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, a position he held until 2004.
| Daniel Feil, FAIA|
In this role he supervised the redevelopment of the 860-acre Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport campus, including the renovation of its historic 1941 terminal and the design of a new, light-filled and airy 1.1-million-square-foot terminal.
Feil’s support for public architecture has not been limited to his role in public service, AIA said. As a member of the AIA Committee on Public Architecture from 1986 to 1996, he led a campaign that resulted in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management acting to revise its job-classification standards to allow architects to qualify for federal managerial positions, while previously they had been restricted to production roles.
Since 2005, Feil has been the executive architect on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
More information about Feil.
Category Three: Robert Peck, Hon. AIA
Peck currently serves as commissioner of public buildings at the U.S. General Services Administration; he also held the position during the Clinton Administration, where he was an early and crucial supporter of the agency’s Design Excellence Program.
Private-sector experience includes managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle and president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. His prior federal experience includes positions at the Office of Management and Budget, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Federal Communications Commission.
| Robert Peck, Hon. AIA |
He also was associate counsel to the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works and Chief of Staff to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Peck served as a Special Forces officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a past president of the D.C. Preservation League, a former appointee to the D.C. Board of Education and has served on numerous other public and nonprofit boards.
More information about Peck.
Collaborative Achievement Awards
CultureNOW, a 501c3 organization, was formed in 2002 from work done by New York/New Visions, the AIA-led pro bono coalition of design professionals who came together in response to the tragic events of 9/11, AIA said.
Led by Abby Suckle, FAIA, and Anne Lewison, AIA, RAIC, the organization has grown to include a vast network of architects, artists, urban planners, educators, curators, and historians all committed to expanding the reach of their disciplines through cultural tourism, education and outreach.
More information about cultureNow.
The Rice Design Alliance (RDA) was organized in 1972 by a small group of academicians, Rice School of Architecture teachers and alumni, and civic-minded design enthusiasts as a multidisciplinary non-profit that fosters public engagement with architecture.
Since its founding, the alliance has grown to 2,000 members, and has emerged as a preeminent public forum for critique, educational programming, and discussion of design and the built environment, AIA said.
More information about the Rice Design Alliance.