The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning has announced Jeanne Gang, head of Chicago-based Studio Gang, as the recipient of the 2017 Marcus Prize. In part, the $100,000 reward goes to support a design studio led by the recipient at the school.
Awarded every two years, the Marcus Prize was founded by the school and the Marcus Corporation Foundation to award practices “on a trajectory to greatness.” Started in 2005, past winners include Winy Maas, Frank Barkow, Alejandro Aravena, Diébédo Francis Kéré, and Sou Fujimoto. The last winner was Joshua Prince-Ramus in 2015. The Marcus Prize Studios have produced everything from large bodies of research for publication to a permanent park pavilion in Milwaukee. While no theme has been announced for this year’s studio, Gang has worked on proposals for Milwaukee, including a vision for the future of the Milwaukee Harbor and lakefront.
High school crews row past the the Studio Gang-designed Eleanor Boathouse along the Chicago River on the city’s South Side. (Steve Hall (c) Hedrich Blessing)
Nominees for the award are required to have demonstrated at least ten years of exceptional practice. The 2017 pool of nominees came from 16 countries on four continents. This year’s jury included Frances Bronet, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology; John Czarnecki, Editor-in-Chief of Contract Magazine; Anne Rieselbach, Program Director at the Architectural League of New York; David Marcus, CEO of Marcus Investments and Robert Greenstreet, Dean, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
Jury member John Czarnecki commented that Gang “is adept at outstanding design for all scales–from the neighborhood and urban scale to the detail of buildings and interior elements. Her practice combines design thinking about the impact of architecture and urban design on cities as well as the creation of beautiful buildings rooted in context that will stand the test of time.”