Phyllis Lambert Accepts NBM's 2006 Vincent J. Scully Prize

Lambert Lectures on Reception and Impact of Seagram

Building on Architectural Culture

Jan 19, 2006, 00:00 ET from National Building Museum

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Building Museum today
 presented its seventh Vincent J. Scully Prize to Phyllis Lambert. The Museum's
 Prize recognizes Lambert's outstanding contributions to the design of the
 built environment, advancement of public awareness of design, and dedication
 to architectural preservation. Over the past 50 years, Phyllis Lambert --
 architect, educator, activist, and philanthropist -- has championed excellence
 in the design of the built environment and worked to improve public
 understanding of modern design.
     The ceremony and public program in the Museum's Great Hall featured an
 illustrated lecture by Ms. Lambert, Ironies in the Public Life of
 Architecture: The Seagram Building, 1954-58, focusing on the public reception
 and long-term impact of the Seagram Building on architectural culture. Her
 talk was preceded by opening remarks from Chase Rynd, executive director of
 the Museum, tributes from the Honorable Frank McKenna, ambassador of Canada to
 the United States of America; Pierre Theberge, director of the National
 Gallery of Canada in Ottawa; and Elizabeth Diller, founding principal of
 Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, and a presentation of the Prize by David Schwarz,
 chair of the Scully Prize Jury.
     "Contemporary architecture owes Ms. Lambert a great deal, not only for the
 Seagram Building, surely one of modern architecture's grandest achievements,
 but also for the preservation of some distinguished old buildings, especially,
 but not only, in her native city of Montreal. She has served architectural
 history and criticism equally well," said Vincent Scully, who was unable to
 attend the prize presentation. "Phyllis Lambert's has been a rounded and
 varied contribution to the character of the built environment, and I am happy
 that the National Building Museum has recognized its qualities with this prize
 in my name," he said.
     Chase Rynd commended Ms. Lambert, "The Museum is honored to present its
 2006 Scully Prize to Phyllis Lambert for a lifetime of outstanding
 achievements in the design of the built environment. From the Seagram Building
 to the CCA, to her work as a preservationist and educator, Phyllis Lambert has
 deeply enhanced the world we build for ourselves."
     Early in her career, Lambert served as the director of planning for the
 Seagram Building, which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and is now
 considered one of the greatest structures of the 20th century. In the 1960s,
 Lambert designed the award-winning Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. A life-
 long advocate for historic preservation, Lambert led the effort in the 70s to
 save the historic Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles from demolition and founded
 Heritage Montreal. In 1979 Lambert founded the Canadian Centre for
 Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. Her leadership has developed the CCA into a
 world-renowned institution, producing such critically acclaimed exhibitions as
 Mies in America and numerous seminal studies of architecture.
     The National Building Museum established the Vincent Scully Prize 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. The jury for the 2006 Scully Prize is comprised of Chairman
 David Schwarz, Carolyn Brody, chair of the Museum's Board of Trustees, Robert
 Peck, Samina Quraeshi, and Robert A. M. Stern.  Past recipients of the prize
 include Vincent J. Scully himself, Jane Jacobs, Andres Duany and Elizabeth
 Plater-Zyberk, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, His Highness The Aga
 Khan, and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
     The National Building Museum is America's premier cultural institution
 dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering,
 construction, and planning. Chartered by Congress in 1980 and open to the
 public since 1985, the Museum has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas
 and information about the built environment through its exhibitions, education
 programs, and publications. The Museum is located at 401 F Street NW,
 Washington, D.C. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm
 and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is free. Museum Shop. Cafe. Public
 inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit

SOURCE National Building Museum