Robert Campbell, FAIA and Inga Saffron named 18th Laureates of Vincent Scully Prize

Categories: Press

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to accept during public program at the National Building Museum

The Vincent Scully Prize. Photo by Yassine el Mansouri.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum will present the 2018 Vincent Scully Prize to two Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critics: Robert Campbell, FAIA, The Boston Globe, and Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

A public program celebrating the award will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018 from 6:30 to 8 pm at the National Building Museum. Campbell and Saffron will be joined by Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune for a discussion about the state of journalism and the future of serious architecture criticism.

“Robert Campbell and Inga Saffron reveal how smart, often-stinging architecture criticism can raise our consciousness about, and expectations for, the built environment,” wrote Kamin in his recommendation. “…Campbell and Saffron do what all great critics should: they form an indispensable link between the public and the private realm.”

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, FAIA.

“Saffron and Campbell, attuned to the divergent circumstances of their respective cities, are interpreters for a public audience of the sometime seeming arcane world of contemporary architecture, and defenders of the threatened physical symbols of a civilization, providing the answers to the everyday observer’s query ‘what were they thinking?’” said Plater-Zyberk about the 2018 laureates.


Campbell has been the architecture critic for The Boston Globe since 1973, as well as an architect practicing as an advisor to cultural institutions. Writing on all aspects of the built environment, his work has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Institute of Architects. He holds a bachelor of arts in English literature from Harvard, a masters in journalism from Columbia, and a masters in architecture from Harvard. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1996.


Saffron’s weekly “Changing Skyline” column has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1999. Her work explores how a variety of forces—politics, finances, culture—shape the city and its policies. In 2012, she completed a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Before joining the Inquirer in 1995, Saffron spent years as a correspondent in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, covering wars in the former Yugoslavia and in Chechnya. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2014.


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
  • Laurie Olin, FASLA, founding principal of the Philadelphia-based OLIN studio and esteemed professor at the University of Pennsylvania

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 inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, and design is important for all ages. Through exhibitions and educational programs, we show how the built world has power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit Connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.