January 4, 2020



The AIA New Jersey Michael Graves Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor that AIA New Jersey may bestow upon an individual.  It is in recognition of a significant body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. This year’s winner is Alan Chimacoff, AIA.
A design architect and teacher, in both practice and teaching Alan Chimacoff is dedicated to a clarity of purpose and ideas, to invention and excellence, and to the responsibility of architecture to its physical, social and cultural settings.  
Born and bred in New Jersey, he has lived all but fourteen years of his life in New Jersey, and believes New Jersey is a great place-naturally, socially, culturally, industrially, intellectually-an unsung national treasure.
Architecture and Planning.  Working principally with colleges and universities, his buildings and campus planning projects are at Arizona State, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Rutgers, and Syracuse universities (among others).  They embrace a range of building types-business, law and architecture schools, libraries, academic and classroom facilities, science laboratories, undergraduate and graduate residential and related social and dining facilities.  Internationally, he designed Inanç Lisesi, a boarding school for gifted, disadvantaged Turkish children on a dramatic site overlooking the Sea of Marmara, and the International School of Prague in the Czech Republic. He led the architectural team in the design of the headquarters and conference center for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, at the time the largest private philanthropy in the United States.
Teaching.  Academically, over thirty years he was an assistant professor at Cornell University and a full professor and director of graduate studies in the School of Architecture at Princeton University.  He was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, UNC Charlotte, the first Sargent Visiting Professor at Syracuse, and Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland.  
Service.  Princeton, NJ Zoning Board of adjustment; Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning Advisory Council; Cornell University Council; Cornell University Architecture Advisory Committee, and liaison between that group and the Building and Properties Committee of the Cornell University Board of Trustees.
Photography.  A serious photographer, with a perspective shaped by his knowledge, as an architect, of real and illusory space and a love of materials, his photographs seek abstraction in the constructed, natural and ordinary.  His photographs explore explicit geometries as well as the faceted, ambiguous spatial characteristics of cubism.  

His abstract and architectural/urban photographs are in private collections and have been exhibited in individual and group exhibitions in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia and, notably, in a commissioned exhibition, “JAMuse,” at the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the I. M. Pei designed museum.  He is presently working on a book of urban photo collages, entitled “COLLAGE: City,” an homage to Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter’s seminally important namesake book.

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Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.

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