Alexander the Great
(Not that Alexander –don’t get me wrong! =)
After decades at the edge of the architectural establishment—with much of that time spent sniping at it—Christopher Alexander can at last rest on his laurels as recipient of the prestigious Vincent Scully Prize. With his notions of sustainability, scale, construction, and placemaking more in vogue than ever, the National Building Museum has made Alexander the11th recipient of the annual prize for his contributions to practice, theory, and scholarship in architecture.
“I think Christopher has been recognized by everyone who has come into contact with his work, from students to readers of his books, but not necessarily in the field,” said Scott Kratz, vice-president for education at the museum. “It’s nice to recognize him in this official way in front of his peers.”
For Alexander, it is yet another opportunity to teach—and tweak—a profession with which he has had his share of disagreements.
“It’s very gratifying, because I’ve struggled for fifty-some years to take really a completely different view of what it is to be an architect, and what it means to make buildings and the environment,” Alexander said in a telephone interview from London, where he keeps an office for his Berkeley-based firm. “People gave me a very hard time, so I am delighted now that people are espousing what I’ve been arguing since the 1950s.”