Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture:
Cecil Balmond, a distinguished designer and structural engineer, has joined the School of Design as the Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture. He has a five-year appointment and will teach a geometry course and an advanced design studio.
Mr. Balmond has collaborated with architects such as Toyo Ito, Alvaro Siza, Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind and artist Anish Kapoor. Mr. Balmond was the structural engineer on the Koolhaas projects at the Villa Bordeaux in France, Kunsthal Rotterdam museum and Seattle Public Library. He worked with Libeskind on London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Imperial War Museum.
Last year, Mr. Balmond was selected as the recipient of the annual Gengo Matsui Prize—the most prestigious award given in Japan to structural engineers—for his design of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Last fall he also won the Jencks Award, an annual award given by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to an individual who has recently made a major contribution to the theory and practice of architecture. He earned his masters at Imerial College, London and was made an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA in 2002.
"Cecil Balmond is one of the most innovative and original designers of our time. His interest lies in the genesis of form and the overlap of science with art," said Dr. Detlef Mertins, chair of the architecture department. "His experimental, constructive and algorithmic methods open a rich territory for design at different scales and in different media and regimes of matter, extending the horizons of both reason and beauty."
Paul Philippe Cret, for whom the term chair is named, taught architecture at Penn in the early 20th century. His works include the Pan American Union Building and the Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington, D.C., the Valley Forge Memorial Arch and Philadelphia's Rodin Museum.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 3, September 14, 2004
September 14, 2004
Volume 51 Number 3