Stan Allen, 2012-13 Herbert Baumer Distinguished Visiting Professor


Stan Allen, Dean and George Dutton '27 Professor, Architectural Design at the Princeton University School of Architecture, and principal of SAA/Stan Allen Architect in New York, is the KSA’s 2012-13 Herbert Baumer Distinguished Visiting Professor. Allen joins a long list of prominent practitioners and scholars as Baumer Professors since the program began in 1996, including Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Greg Lynn, and last year’s Baumer Professor, Eric Owen Moss.

During the course of their time at the KSA, Baumer Professors lead a graduate design seminar and present a public lecture as part of the School’s Baumer Lecture Series.  Allen’s lecture, “The Geological Turn,” focused on two, parallel, working metaphors in advanced architecture: the dominant biological one, which desires to make architecture more lifelike, fluid, adaptable, and responsive to change; and one based on the collective behavior of ecological systems as a model for cities, buildings, and landscapes. Allen stated that architecture is situated between these two metaphorical boundaries, the biological and the geological, and presented an argument for the renewed relevance of the geological in today’s advanced architecture.

From 1989–2002, Stan Allen taught at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he was also the Director of the Advanced Design Program. After working for Richard Meier and Partners in New York and Rafael Moneo in Spain, he established his own practice in 1990. His built work to date includes galleries, gardens, workspaces and a number of innovative single-family houses. Responding to the complexity of the modern city in creative ways, Allen has developed an extensive catalogue of urbanistic strategies, in particular looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology as models to revitalize the practices of urban design. His urban projects have been published in Points and Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City and his theoretical essays in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation. Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain, a book based on the eponymous conference held at the School in 2009, was published in 2011.

From 1999–2003, Allen worked in collaboration with James Corner/Field Operations. The work of this interdisciplinary collaboration was recognized with first prizes in invited competitions for the re-use of Fresh Kills in Staten Island (2001), and the Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California (2002). In 2000, they won the competition for a garden at the French Consulate in New York (now complete), and were finalists in the competition for the 320-acre Downsview Park in Toronto. In 2007, SAA/Stan Allen Architect won the international competition for the redesign of the Taichung Municipal Airport in Taiwan, which is now being implemented. Recently completed buildings include the Sagaponac House, Salim Publishing at Paju Book City and the CCV Chapel in the Philippines. The firm has recently been recognized with P/A Awards for the Taichung Airport and the Yan Ping Waterfront in Taipei, AIA Awards for the CCV Chapel and Salim Publishing, and an Architecture Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The recently completed Taichung InfoBox won both AIA and P/A Awards.

Allen lectures and publishes extensively, both in the US and abroad, and participates in numerous international design conferences and symposia. In addition to design awards and competition prizes, he has been awarded Fellowships in Architecture from the New York Foundation for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, a Design Arts Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Graham Foundation Grant, a President's Citation and the 2009 John Hejduk Award from The Cooper Union. In a ceremony held in New Orleans in May, Stan Allen was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects.