On Monday, May 4, the Architectural League of New York presented its highest honor, the President’s Medal, to Henry N. Cobb (MArch ’49), founding partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and former chair of the GSD’s Department of Architecture. Speakers honoring Cobb at the event included the GSD’s Kajima Professor in Practice of Architecture Mack Scogin and Harvard University President Emeritus Neil Rudenstine.
“Genuine eloquence in architecture is rare—it’s not that hard to create a screaming building that has nothing to say. You have shown us how to make silent architecture that suspends judgment and sustains a discourse,” Scogin remarked, “architecture at once all about place and against place. An architecture that solves problems with elegant ease while raising unanswerable yet compelling questions originating from and rooted within disciplinary substance.”
Cobb served as studio professor and chairman of the Department of Architecture at the GSD from 1980 to 1985 and an adjunct professor of architecture and urban design from 1985 to 1988. He continues to teach occasionally as a visiting lecturer. Some buildings for which Cobb has been principally responsible include Boston’s John Hancock Tower and Montreal's Place Ville Marie.
Awarded annually, the Medal was presented to Cobb at a dinner at the Metropolitan Club for over 300 guests. Read full remarks from the award ceremony at the Architectural League’s recap.
Photo credit: Fran Parente