Pier Carlo Bontempi Named 2014 Driehaus Laureate

Pier Carlo Bontempi Named 2014 Driehaus Laureate

La Masone Maze in Fontanellato, Parma, Italy by Bontempi.

The Italian classicist architect Pier Carlo Bontempi has been named the 2014 Driehaus Laureate.  A native of Parma, Bontempi’s work in Italy and France re-imagines the traditional city with projects like a master-planned block in Parma and the Quartier du Lac outside Paris.

“His buildings, seamlessly woven into their urban environments, demonstrate principles of the new classicism and urbanism,” said Michael Lykoudis, dean of the school of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, in a statement. “Their durable construction, adaptive interior spaces and sensitive siting make them exemplars of architecture as an art of conservation and investment as opposed to consumption and waste.”

Place Toscane in Val d’Europe, France by Bontempi.

The $200,000 Driehaus prize, underwritten by the Chicago-based Richard Driehaus Foundation, is administered by the school of architecture at the University of Notre Dame. It recognizes “a living architect whose work embodies the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society, and creates a positive cultural, environmental, and artistic impact.” Previous winners include Robert A.M. Stern, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Leon Krier, and Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil. While the purse is twice that of the Pritzker Prize, the Driehaus is still somewhat confined within the worlds or classicism, new urbanism, and historic preservation, as AN previously pointed out in a report of the overlapping world of the honorees and jurors.

Along with the Driehaus prize, the foundation and school also award the $50,000 Henry Hope Reed prize, for individuals working outside of architecture to promote traditional city making. Ruan Yisan, a professor of urban planning and Director of the National Research Center of the Historic City at Tonji University, is this year’s Henry Hope Reed Laureate.

Watercolor of the Piazza Matteotti by Bontempi and Leon Krier. Fonti di Matilde in San Bartolomeo by Bontempi and alumni of the Prince of Wales Institute.