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 http://www.nbm.org.
SOURCE National Building Museum