Inside SCI-Arc


11.11.09 | W. M. Keck Lecture Hall 7pm
Preston Scott Cohen: Discretized Curves and Tectonic Language

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(Photos: Jonathan Wimmel)

The architecture of Preston Scott Cohen is recognized for its innovative geometry and for its new approach to integrating buildings with their environments. The work of his firm, Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. in Cambridge, MA, encompasses projects of diverse scales and types including houses, educational facilities, cultural institutions and urban designs.

Cohen has produced numerous critically-acclaimed projects for important buildings including the Taiyuan Art Museum, Taiyuan, China, 2007-2011 (31,000 m2); the Robbins Elementary School, Trenton, NJ, 2006-2010 (9,000 m2); and the Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 2003-2009 (20,000 m2), presently under construction.

Other projects currently under construction and nearing completion include a Performing Arts Center for Nanjing University’s Xianlin Campus, Jiang Su, 2007-09 (16,000 m2); a public arcade in New York, NY, 2005-09, and several residences in the United States. Among his most important recent commissions is the New Library for Datong City, 2009-2012 (20,000 m2). Presently, his firm is one of three finalists in the international urban design competition for the Taiyuan Drum Tower Traditional District.

Cohen is the author of Contested Symmetries and Other Predicaments in Architecture and numerous theoretical texts on architecture. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, three Progressive Architecture Awards, and The Visionary Award from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

His work has been widely published and is included in numerous collections including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Fogg Museum of Art, Harvard. Exhibitions include the Gwangju Design Biennale, Seoul, Korea (2009); Skin and Bones, LA MOCA (2007-08); The National Design Triennale, Cooper-Hewitt Museum (2007); Venice International Architecture Biennale(2004, 1996, 1985) ; Intricacy, ICA University of Pennsylvania (2003); A New World Trade Center, Max Protetch Gallery (2002); and The Un-Private House, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1999). He is represented by the Thomas Erben Gallery, New York.

Cohen is the Chair of the Department of Architecture and Gerald M. McCue Professor of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Previously, he was the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto (2004) and the Perloff Professor at UCLA (2002). He has held faculty positions at Princeton, RISD, and Ohio State University.