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* Peter Bohlin’58
Peter Bohlin ’58
Photo courtesy of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Renowned Architect Peter Bohlin’58 To Speak March 23

Peter Bohlin, a 1958 graduate of the School of Architecture and winner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 Gold Medal, will speak on campus Wednesday, March 23. Bohlin’s appearance is part of the Spring 2011 Lecture Series sponsored by the School of Architecture. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held in the Concert Hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Bohlin is the founder of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, an architectural firm with five offices in the United States. His company was the joint venture firm for the design of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, and was responsible for renovations to both the Russell Sage Laboratory and the Playhouse at the Institute.

“Peter Bohlin is simply a brilliant architect who is able to gracefully integrate new forms of technology alongside a keen sense of design, a deep appreciation of context, and the experiential value of architecture,” said Evan Douglis, dean of the School of Architecture. “He represents a unique school of thought in the beginning of the 21st century, in his belief that buildings can be both contemporary and timeless, yet always an embodiment of a humanist project. His life’s work is a testimony to the value of using architecture globally as a benevolent tool in order to bring inspiration to countless people around the world.”

Notable projects designed by Bohlin include: the William J. Nealon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Scranton, Pa., which blends modern elements with original 19th-century design elements; the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, with its pristine modern glass design; and the Pocono Environmental Education Center in Dingmans Ferry, Pa., which incorporates natural materials, a broad roof, and unique lantern-like lighting.

In 2010, Bohlin was awarded the AIA Gold Medal, considered to be the highest honor bestowed on an individual architect. The recognition honors “an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.”

The AIA cited Bohlin’s versatile and contextual use of materials and seamlessly integrated design work, writing, “Again and again, his work demonstrates that great cities, towns, and buildings are created by designers looking to further the story of their place in a collaborative and contextual way, not by singular architecture that calls for heedless and self-serving attention.”

Bohlin graduated from Rensselaer in 1958 with a degree in architecture, and started the 200-person Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1965. In addition to the AIA Gold Medal, Bohlin’s projects have earned 14 national AIA awards, including nine Institute Honor Awards, COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards, AIA Committee on Education Awards, and AIA Housing Awards. He is the 66th AIA Gold Medalist, joining the ranks of such visionaries as Thomas Jefferson (1993), Frank Lloyd Wright (1949), Louis Sullivan (1944), Le Corbusier (1961), Louis Kahn (1971), I.M. Pei (1979), Frank Gehry (1999), and Renzo Piano (2008).

To read more about Bohlin’s work, go to

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 5, Number 4, March 18, 2011
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