Like every deep-sea dive requires the necessary skills and training, the perception of the modern architecture needs the audience that is ready for it because one of the main qualities of a successful project, and an outstanding architect is innovation. Building a unique creation of “frozen music in stone”, each architect expects that his creation will be perceived properly, however, great architects are guided by eternity. This is what distinguishes the true geniuses of architecture. We are going to tell you about the outstanding architect, Peter Bolin, who has repeatedly received various awards and prizes. And in 2010 his finest-hour has come, when he has got the "AIA Gold Medal".
The American Institute of Architecture (AIA), which every year solemnly selects the best architect, in 2010 chose the American: Peter Bolin.
FOR A RECORD
The Gold Medal is the highest award in the field of architecture, which is awarded not to companies, but to individuals whose projects have significantly influenced the theory and practice of architecture.
At one time, the winners of this award were such eminent architects as Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Le Corbusier (1961), Louis Cannes (1971), Yao Ming Pei (1979), Thomas Jefferson (1993), Frank Gehry (1999) and Renzo Piano (2008).
Peter Bohlin is the founder of Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson. He is known in the world of architecture for his innovative approach to the use of materials. The range of his buildings is very diverse: from the urban electronics Apple store in New York to suburban villas.
Of course, the iconic building of Bohlin and his company is the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York. The underground pavilion, which construction was completed in 2006, is decorated by a ground entrance, which is a pure form of transparent architecture. Firstly, the cube is empty, without any room dividers, which makes it similar to the main entrance to the Louvre, the Glass Pyramid of the Louvre, the creation of an American architect of Chinese descent Yao Ming Pei (1985-1989).
Apple Store in New York on 5th Avenue
It's not the only similar thing the buildings got. There is a transparent spiral staircase leading to the underground hall in the center of Bohlin’s glass cube. This technique was also used by Pei.
However, unlike the Louvre Pyramid, which black metal frame contrasts with the palace building behind it, the ground-based Apple pavilion was built from a structural glass without the use of a metal frame. And it makes it lighter and airier.
Apple Store in New York on 5th Avenue
Front door to the Louvre: Glass Pyramid
This building characterizes Bolhin's style: in particular, his ability to work with glazing, to combine modern architectural structures with historical buildings or fit them into the existing context of urban development. However, the architect’s creativity is more than creating in urban style only.
For example, Bohlin built the Pocono Education Center in aesthetics close to traditional rural homes for the US National Park Service.
Pocono Education Center
Many of his residential buildings belong to this line. The Liberty Bell Memorial Center in Philadelphia, on the other hand, belongs to the “industrial” trend. The architect also works successfully on a large scale, an example of this is the Seattle Town Hall complex.
The Liberty Bell Memorial Center in Philadelphia
Seattle Town Hall complex
During his long career, Bohlin designed both suburban cottages and urban buildings. The key to success in designing both types of buildings is the contextual use of materials.
“He goes from wooden huts to modern glass structures with confidence that has been defined and formed in architectural traditions through centuries of trial and error. And in his unique creations you can see the personal will, character, and imagination of their creator”, wrote Mack Skogin from the Association of Architects (Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects) in his recommendation letter.
“His architecture clearly shows that buildings don't just fit into the landscape but become part of it and organically complement what was created by nature,” added Ed Feiner (Association of Architects).
President of the AIA Marvin Malek notified Bohlin over the phone immediately after the decision on the award by the board of directors was made. “I am flattered and surprised,” said Bohlin. "We all believe in architecture. Our life revolves around architecture. Like weightlifters, we know that to achieve a result, you need to make great efforts that look easy only from the outside. And we all do it all the time.”
Bohlin's projects were awarded fourteen times, including the TOP-10 Prizes of Environmental Projects, awards of the AIA Committee on Education, and Housing. Bohlin, Cywinski, Jackson was awarded the 1994 AIA Corporate Award. Peter Bohlin is the sixty-sixth gold medalist at the American Institute of Architecture.
Commending the achievements of Bohlin's contribution to architecture, his name was carved on the granite Wall of Honor in the lobby of the center of the AIA (Washington, DC).