Notre Dame awards major prizes to architect Rob Krier and author Wendell Berry


The University of Notre-Dame honored two individuals for their outstanding work in the field of architecture and environmental culture.

Architect Rob Krier, also known for his work as a painter, sculptor and educator, received the 2022 Richard H. Driehaus Award. And author Wendell Berry was named the winner of the 2022 Henry Hope Reed Award, given to a non- architect whose work cultivates “the traditional city, its architecture, and its art through writing, planning, or promotion.”

Established in 2003, the $200,000 Richard H. Driehaus Prize is awarded to “a living architect whose work embodies the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society and creates cultural, environmental and artistic impact positive”. The award is named after Richard H. Driehaus, founder and chairman of Chicago-based Driehaus Capital Management LLC, who died last year.

Notre Dame presents the Henry Hope Reed Prize of $50,000 in conjunction with the Driehaus Prize to recognize “achievements in the promotion and preservation of these ideals among those working outside the field of architecture.” Henry Hope Reed was an influential architectural historian. Together, the two awards are among the most significant recognitions given to classicism in the contemporary built environment.

Rob Krier

Born in Luxembourg, Rob Krier studied architecture at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. He then worked with Oswald Mathias Ungers in Cologne and Berlin and Frei Otto in Berlin and Stuttgart. He then opened his own business in Vienna, where he was also professor of architecture at the Vienna University of Technology from 1976 to 1998.

Krier has designed buildings all over the world, from grand projects in Berlin to new towns in the Netherlands and residential projects in Spain.

His award citation reads: “Through his engagement with a variety of urban settings, clients and project types, Krier has generated a diverse body of work that is steeped in the idiosyncrasies of specific places: always sensitive to local cultures, built heritage and environmental issues. His work as an artist animates the poetics of his architecture and town planning. Design, painting, sculpture, architecture and urban planning become an intense and singular art form, capable of inspiring people to understand themselves as being deeply rooted in their community and in the world.

Stefanos Polyzoides, chairman of the Driehaus Prize jury and dean Francis and Kathleen Rooney of the School of Architecture at Notre Dame, said of Krier: “His influence as a theorist has been pervasive. Over the past 30 years, his published books and numerous teachings and lectures have attracted and influenced students and professionals around the world.

Wendell Berry

A prolific author and influential environmental conservation activist, Wendell Berry was born in Kentucky and still farms in that state. He received his BA and MA in English from the University of Kentucky. He also studied under Wallace Stegner at Stanford.

Her first novel, Nathan Coulterwas published in April 1960. But his most influential book was probably The Unsettling of America, in which Berry defends one of his favorite themes – the importance of small-scale agriculture for the preservation of the land and Culture.

He taught creative writing at the University of Kentucky for several years, joining a department that at the time included such famous writers as Guy Davenport and Gurney Norman.

Not only was Berry one of Kentucky’s most famous authors, he was a fearless lawyer, ready to assume his alma mater. During a public protest several years ago against the University of Kentucky (UK) naming a new dormitory for British basketball players the “Wildcat Coal Lodge” in addition to what it considered the excessive accent of the UK on science, technology and engineering to the detriment of the arts and humanities, Berry said he no longer wished to be formally associated with the university and he removed his personal papers from the UK archives.

Berry is the recipient of the National Humanities Medal, awarded to him by President Barack Obama in 2011. Other honors include the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Life Achievement Award, TS Eliot Prize, Aiken Taylor Award for poetry, the John Hay Award from the Orion Society and the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

His jury citation reads: “Over the years, humanity has increasingly encroached on natural landscapes with little regard for the long-term urban and environmental impact. Berry has been a voice of conscience in advocating for the conservation of the miracle and bounty of nature, proposing a relationship between places and people that honors and protects both.

Notre Dame said it was postponing the public presentation of the awards due to ongoing public health concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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