August 17, 2009AIA-NJ has nominated architect Michael Graves, FAIA, of Princeton, N.J., to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The nomination was made by Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, president of AIA-NJ, which is based in Trenton, on behalf of the organization.
Graves has been in the forefront of architectural design since he founded his practice in Princeton in 1964. He is an influential theorist, as well as a diversified and prolific designer and an esteemed educator. In addition to his involvement in Michael Graves & Associates and the Michael Graves Design Group, he is the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus, at Princeton University, where he taught for almost 40 years.
Graves’ architectural practice has designed over 350 buildings worldwide encompassing many building types. Since the early 1980s, his work has directly influenced the transformation of architecture from the preoccupation with buildings that reflect the abstraction of commercial modernism to those that display a sensitivity to geographical, architectural and historical context.
“As New Jersey’s most famous architect, Michael Graves deserves a place in the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” Kliesch said. “His is one of the most influential voices in American architecture today. He has designed projects, large and small, of all types in locations throughout New Jersey, the nation and the world. In addition, his designs of furnishings and housewares have transformed how people view everyday objects.”
The New Jersey Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made invaluable contributions to society in the categories of historical, enterprise, arts and entertainment, sports and “general.” A new category is the Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes New Jerseyans who are less well known. Nominees must have resided in New Jersey for at least five years and have made a signature contribution to New Jersey and beyond.
In the selection process, a group of expert panelists sorts through a master list of nominations. They then select a list of 25 individuals in each category, which is submitted to the Voting Academy. The Academy, a group of about 100 of the state’s most prominent organizations, narrows the field to six individuals in each category. In the final stage, which will occur this fall, the public is offered the opportunity to vote.
Thanks to a formal lesson plan developed by a team led by the New Jersey Education Association, teachers and schools across the state will use the voting as an opportunity to teach students at all levels about the importance and process of voting.
Following the certification of the vote by a prominent accounting firm, the top vote getters in each category, as well as one or two others that the board deems deserving, are inducted at a gala, which was held this year on May 3 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J.
This year’s inductees included Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Jon Bon Jovi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Althea Gibson, Jerry Lewis, Guglielmo Marconi, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Rizzuto, Paul Robeson, Carl Sagan, Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams. Also, Sen. Bill Bradley, who was unable to attend last year, accepted his induction this year.
An early exponent of post-modernism, Graves’s signature style has been acclaimed for its expression of enduring design principles such as composition, proportion, scale and unity, rather than of the latest trend.
His wide range of project types includes large-scale master plans; corporate headquarters and office buildings; hotels and resorts; restaurants and retail stores; sports and recreation centers; healthcare facilities; museums; theaters; university buildings; civic projects, including embassies, courthouses, monuments and libraries; and residential projects, both multifamily and private.
Graves and his firms are the recipients of nearly 200 prestigious awards and citations for architecture, interiors and product design. Some of Graves’ awards include Fellow of the AIA in 1979, the Gold Medal from the national board of directors of AIA in 2001, the AIA National Honor Awards for Design, the AIA New Jersey Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts from the President of the United States in 1999.
Some of his most famous projects include the Newark Museum in Newark, N.J.; the Humana Building in Louisville, Ky.; the Portland Building in Portland, Ore.; the Denver Central Library in Denver, Colo.; the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas — Houston Branch in Houston, Texas; the William B. Bryant Courthouse Annex in Washington, D.C.; the NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Champions in Indianapolis, Ind.; the Washington Monument Scaffolding and Historic Renovation, which hosted the nation’s Millennium Celebration, in Washington, D.C.; Three on the Bund, a high-end restaurant complex in Shanghai, China; and Castalia, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Hague.
Projects that the firm is currently designing include the St. Regis Cairo, three towers on the Nile River that include a hotel, retail, offices, condominiums and apartments; and Resorts World at Sentosa in Singapore, which includes six hotels, a convention center, theaters and entertainment facilities, a maritime museum, a marina with the world’s largest marine animal park, a world-class spa and shopping malls. Both projects are under construction. Also under construction are the Mitchell Institute and Physics Building at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas; and Wu-Wilcox Halls additions/renovations at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. Alter Hall at the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa., was completed in January, 2009.
About the New Jersey Hall of Fame
The New Jersey Hall of Fame was created to honor citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. The Hall of Fame reinforces the message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models and teaching young people about the voting process, the Hall of Fame is a source of learning, inspiration and hope for children. For more information, visit the Web site at www.njhalloffame.org.
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