Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi to receive 2014 Driehaus Prize in Chicago

Pier Carlo Bontempi

Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi will receive the 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Prize from the University of Notre Dame at a ceremony to be held on March 29 (Saturday) at the John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium in Chicago.

Bontempi’s award-winning international work includes a block recovery plan in Parma’s historical center, as well as the Place de Toscane and the “Quartier du Lac” resort in Val d’Europe near Paris. His studio works on new traditional architecture and architectural projects including restoration, rebuilding and town planning. A native of Fornovo di Taro, Parma, Italy, Bontempi studied architecture at the University of Florence and has taught at Florence University, the École Spéciale d’Architecture of Paris, Syracuse University of New York in Florence, the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart and the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture in London.

“Bontempi’s work illustrates why the idea of the traditional city and its architecture are referred to as ‘the original green,’” said Michael Lykoudis, Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the Notre Dame School of Architecture. “His buildings, seamlessly woven into their urban environments, demonstrate the principles of the new classicism and urbanism. Their durable construction, adaptive interior space and sensitive urban siting make them exemplars of architecture as an art of conservation and investment as opposed to consumption and waste.”

The Richard H. Driehaus Prize

“Bontempi acquired his vast architectural knowledge and versatility by studying the rich fabric of Italy, the cities and landscapes he grew up in,” said Léon Krier, the inaugural Driehaus laureate. “The serenity, robustness, elegance and economy of his considerable built work provide exemplary models for better cities and buildings in the cities and towns of the future.”

Established in 2003 by the Notre Dame School of Architecture, the $200,000 Richard H. Driehaus Prize is awarded to a living architect whose work embodies the highest ideals of traditional and classical architecture in contemporary society and creates a positive cultural, environmental and artistic impact. In keeping with the School of Architecture’s classical and urbanist curriculum, the prize provides a forum for celebrating and advancing the principles of the traditional city with an emphasis on sustainability. Previous recipients of the Driehaus Prize include Thomas H. Beeby in 2013, Michael Graves in 2012, Robert A.M. Stern in 2011 and Rafael Manzano Martos in 2010.

“I am most pleased with the selection of Pier Carlo Bontempi as the 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Prize laureate,” said Richard H. Driehaus, founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Chicago-based Driehaus Capital Management LLC. “His work has consistently responded to the unique qualities of historic environments as well as to the needs of modern society. Each project has achieved a nuanced balance between traditional principles and worldly cosmopolitanism, a quality lacking in today’s urban settings. His work is a reminder to all of us that great architecture possesses not only confidence and wonder, but that it is born of a humanistic impulse.”

This year’s Driehaus Prize jury was composed of Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome; Robert Davis, developer and founder of Seaside, Fla.; Paul Goldberger, contributing editor at Vanity Fair; Léon Krier, architect and urban planner; Demetri Porphyrios, principal of Porphyrios Associates; and Witold Rybczynski, Meyerson Professor Emeritus of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.

The awards ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. CDT and is open to the public.

Contact: Michael Lykoudis, Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of the Notre Dame School of Architecture, 574-631-4699,

Originally published by Notre Dame News at on March 19, 2014.