The American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected Thomas E. Lollini, FAIA, and Thomas Luebke, FAIA, to receive the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. This year’s award recipients will be honored and receive their awards at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta.
The Thomas Jefferson Award recognizes excellence in architectural advocacy and achievement in three categories:
Category 1 – Private-sector architects who have established a portfolio of accomplishment in the design of architecturally distinguished public facilities (none selected this year).
Category 2 – Public-sector architects who manage or produce quality design within their agencies.
Category 3 – Public officials or other individuals who by their role of advocacy have furthered the public’s awareness and/or appreciation of design excellence.
Thomas E. Lollini (Category 2), FAIA, is recognized for his contributions as campus architect at both California’s oldest public university and the nation’s newest public research university. Lollini’s work has elevated the importance of the design of higher education institutions. In 1996, Lollini took his first job as a campus architect at the University of California-Berkeley. Much of Lollini’s work involved reasserting many of the university’s original master plan. His New Century Plan (the school’s first comprehensive planning exercise in 100 years) paved the way to expand enrollment by 10 percent. University of California-Merced hired Lollini in 2005, its inaugural year. His challenge was to conjure a campus from scratch. UC Merced’s campus plan, buildings, and landscapes are all guided by one overriding principle: the Triple Zero Commitment. By 2020 when the school teaches 10,000 students, it will use net-zero energy, create net-zero landfill waste, and produce net-zero carbon emissions likely making it the most sustainable college campus in the world. Already, it’s the only campus in the world where all buildings are LEED-certified.
Thomas Luebke (Category 3), FAIA. Since 2005, Luebke has served as the secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Luebke’s role is to act as a mediator between designers and the rest of Washington, D.C.’s, regulatory stakeholders by taking a given design and making it better, often through a complex and contentious regulatory process. Luebke attended Washington University in St. Louis, and graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. He worked as a preservation historian for Alfred Mullet’s Old Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., before practicing with several local architecture firms. Before joining the commission as its secretary in 2005, Luebke became the city architect for Alexandria, Va., a historic suburb of Washington that predates the L’Enfant plan by decades. One fundamental undercurrent of Luebke’s role with the commission is to be an advocate for historic preservation and adaptive reuse. One such example is the St. Elizabeth Hospital campus across the Anacostia River, a sprawling 176-acre National Historic Landmark composed of 40 historic buildings. With Luebke’s leadership, all but three will be preserved, as the campus becomes the new home of the Department of Homeland Security.
The jury for the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award includes: Donald King, FAIA (Chair), DKA Architecture; Hiroshi Jacobs, Assoc. AIA, Studios Architecture; Michael Pyatok, FAIA, Pyatok Architects; David Trevino, AIA, City of Dallas; and Karen E. Williams, AIA, PIVOT Architecture.
Founded in 1857, the AIA works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world.