The Board of Directors of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) voted today to award the 2010 AIA Gold Medal to Peter Bohlin[, FAIA. Bohlin, founder of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which has five U.S. offices, is renowned for his versatile, contextual use of materials.
The AIA Gold Medal, voted on annually, is considered to be the profession's highest honor that an individual can receive. The Gold Medal honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Bohlin will be honored at the 2010 AIA National Convention in Miami.
AIA President Marvin Malecha, FAIA, notified Bohlin by telephone immediately after the Board made its decision. "I'm so pleased and I'm surprised," said Bohlin. "We all believe in architecture. It is our life to a great extent. Like athletes, we all know that it's hard work to make it look easy, and we're all constantly striving to do that."
Over the course of his long career, Bohlin has designed superlative rural houses, nature centers as well as excellent urban buildings. The key to success for both building types is their contextual use of materials. "He moves from the log cabin to the glass box with the same unassailable ethic that has for hundreds of years defined and shaped an architectural tradition rooted in the exercise of knowledge and made unique only by the personal will, character, and imagination of its creator," wrote Mack Scogin, FAIA, of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, in a recommendation letter.
"His architecture clearly communicates that buildings are not just placed on the landscape, but are part of the landscape and indeed enhance the experience of nature," wrote Ed Feiner, FAIA, former General Services Administration chief architect, in a letter of recommendation.