Robert A.M. Stern Wins Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture

Back around this time in 2007 was the last time we reported on who had won the Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture (when it was taken home by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk). Since then, of course, there have been annual winners, but unfortunately the prize, as the Chicago Tribune‘s Blair Kamin puts it, “has garnered relatively little media attention since it was established in 2003.” Perhaps it’s because fewer people find classical architecture as exciting and sometimes disarming as the modern variety is. Whatever the case, there’s a chance all that might change, now that the award has gone to a famous name. Robert A.M. Stern, dean of Yale’s School of Architecture and one of the biggest names in the business who regularly works on some of the highest of the high-profile projects, has been awarded the 2011 prize, which he will receive, along with $200,000 in prize money, in an event held here in Chicago this March. What will this mean for the Driehaus Prize is anyone’s guess, but given the attention thus far, having Stern’s name attached, certainly must feel like a positive development for its founders. That said, how this reflects upon the nature of prize-giving, too, is anyone’s guess.