University of Calgary

Famous American building designer coming to campus

UToday HomeApril 3, 2012

By Jessica Wallace

Preston Scott Cohen will give a lecture at the event centre at University of Calgary’s downtown campus on Thursday, April 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Preston Scott CohenPreston Scott Cohen will give a lecture at the event centre at University of Calgary’s downtown campus on Thursday, April 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Preston Scott CohenCelebrated building designer Preston Scott Cohen is speaking at the downtown campus this week as part of the Design Matters lecture series presented by the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS).

Cohen’s architecture encompasses diverse scales and types of buildings including houses, educational facilities, cultural institutions and urban designs for private owners, institutions, government agencies and corporations.

“Cohen's work demonstrates both an obsession with and a mastery of complex geometry,” says EVDS assistant professor of architecture, Joshua Taron.  “His ability to explore new architectural forms, spaces and sensations through mixtures of mathematics, projection and reconfiguration has maintained an extraordinary degree of rigor and resolution while navigating between both conceptual and built territories. This is particularly evident in the context of the significant cultural spaces and buildings that constitute his most recent projects such as the Taiyuan and Tel Aviv Museums of Art."

Cohen—founder and principal of Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts—received his Master of Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) in 1985. He gained professorship there in 2003, served as the director of the architecture degree program and in 2008, was appointed chair of the GSD.

Recent projects by Cohen’s firm include the Datong City Library, China [2008-2012], The Tel Aviv Museum of Art Amir Building, Israel [2003-2011], Taiyuan Museum of Art, China [2007--2012], Memorial Center in Beit Shemesh, Israel [2010-2012]; Nanjing Performing Arts Center, China [2007-2009], The Goldman Sachs Canopy, with Pei Cobb Freed Associates, New York [2005-2008] and the Fahmy House, California [2009-12].

Cohen is author of Contested Symmetries (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001) and numerous theoretical and historical essays on architecture. His work has been widely published and exhibited. He lectures regularly in prestigious venues around the world. 

Hosted by the environmental design faculty, the thought provoking lecture series, Design Matters brings a range of important people to campus explore design in our contemporary culture.

This month’s lecture will be held at the event centre at University of Calgary’s downtown campus on Thursday, April 5 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Admission is $5, students get in free.