Michael Graves Named 2012 Driehaus Prize Laureate

Architect Michael Graves has been named the recipient of the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. Graves, the tenth Driehaus Prize laureate, will receive $200,000 and a bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a March 24 ceremony in Chicago. 

Graves is Founding Principal of the firm Michael Graves & Associates (MGA) and the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus at Princeton University, where he taught for 39 years. At Princeton, Graves reintroduced the principles of traditional and classical composition and brought a dedication to urbanism to a modernist curriculum. Receiving the Rome Prize in 1960 as a scholar at the American Academy in Rome, where he is now a Trustee, Graves was influenced by “the timeless grammar” of architecture that he has applied to his own work. Members of the Driehaus Prize jury commended his commitment to the traditional city-in its human scale, complexity, and vitality-as emblematic of a time-tested sustainability. 

According to a release, in structures such as the Portland (Oregon) Public Services Building and Humana Corporation headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Graves’ designs are characterized for their attention to human scale and dignity. The release notes that his concern for the character of his buildings extends to his interior design, the lighting, fixtures, and furniture that he regards as essential to the overall character he aspires to create.

The 5+ Collection by Michael Graves for Skyline Design

In addition to his architectural work, Graves has also been involved with the design of numerous products. Some of these include the 5+ Collection of etched glass introduced earlier this year by Skyline Design, as well as a collection of door glass inserts, side lights and fan lights commissioned by ODL. 

“Michael Graves has enhanced not just the architecture profession with his talent and scholarship, but everyday life itself through his inspiring attention to beautiful and accessible design,” says Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize jury chair and Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. “The quality and scope of his work have enhanced how people work, live, and interact in public and private realms, making a profound impact on American life.” 

Established in 2003 through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Richard H. Driehaus Prize honors lifetime contributions to traditional, classical and sustainable architecture and urbanism in the modern world.