Laurie Olin, FASLA, named 17th Laureate of Vincent Scully Prize

Categories: Articles, Press

Renowned landscape architect and professor to accept during public program, “Conversation with a Reflective Practitioner”

National Gallery of Art, Sculpture Garden. Location: Washington, D.C. Landscape Architect: Olin Partnership. Photo by Peter Mauss / Esto.

WASHINGTON, D.C.The National Building Museum will present the 2017 Vincent Scully Prize to Mr. Laurie Olin, FASLA, founding principal of the Philadelphia-based OLIN studio and esteemed professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Olin has created award winning, people-centric landscapes in cities around the world, including the grounds of the Washington Monument and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and Bryant Park in New York City.

“It is an unexpected great honor to receive this year’s Vincent Scully [Prize] from the National Building Museum,” said Olin. “It’s widely known that in addition to educating generations of architects Scully encouraged thousands who weren’t design students to look appreciatively at architecture and to care about the nature of the world we make.”

A public program celebrating the award and Olin will be held on October 16, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the National Building Museum. Titled “Conversation with a Reflective Practitioner,” Olin will be joined by Mr. James Corner, founder and director of James Corner Field Operations. Corner is a former student of Olin’s, and later became his colleague at Harvard University.

“[Olin’s] work has left (many) cities invaluably richer in terms of public space, civic pride, and quality of life,” Corner wrote in his nomination of Olin. “[He is] a prolific writer and thinker, advancing the history, theory and visibility of the field…all hallmarks of everything Vincent Scully deeply represented.”

The Vincent Scully Prize recipient is selected by a jury, including members James Corner, Maurice Cox, Ellen Dunham-Jones, Blair Kamin, and led by chair Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. The event in October will also feature a tribute to David M. Schwarz, who founded the Prize and acted as chair until last year.

“It was David’s initiative to establish and fund the Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize in honor of the teacher who inspired his work,” said current chair Plater-Zyberk of Schwarz. “David understood that Scully’s influence on two generations of architects and their clients and patrons in a particular historical period deserved recognition and remembrance.”

Press passes are available for the October 16 program; please contact Emma Filar at to reserve.

The Vincent Scully Prize was established in 1999 to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. It is named after Professor Vincent Scully, to honor his work and extend his legacy. Scully is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Miami. For more than four decades his teaching and scholarship have profoundly influenced prominent architects and urban planners.
Past recipients are listed here with their affiliation at the time of their selection:

  • Vincent Scully, sterling professor emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University
  • Jane Jacobs, urbanist and author of The Nature of Economies
  • Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, founders of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co
  • Robert Venturi, FAIA and Denise Scott Brown, RIBA
  • His Highness the Aga Khan
  • His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
  • Phyllis Lambert, architect, educator, philanthropist, and activist
  • Witold Rybczynski, architectural critic, author and essayist
  • Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture
  • Christopher Alexander, architect and author
  • Adele Chatfield-Taylor, president of the American Academy in Rome
  • William K. Reilly, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Paul Goldberger, architecture critic and contributing editor, Vanity Fair
  • Joshua David and Robert Hammond, co-founders, Friends of the High Line

The National Building Museum is grateful for the generous donations to the Vincent Scully Prize received since its inception, which sustain the program.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to advancing the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives. Through its exhibitions, educational programs, online content, and publications, the Museum has become a vital forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the world we build for ourselves. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit Follow us on Twitter: @BuildingMuseum and Facebook: