Off the Shelf: Karen Van Lengen

February 18, 2008
Lydia Mattice Brandt, University of Virginia School of Architecture graduate student; and Karen Van Lengen, dean of the U.Va. School of Architecture, editors, "The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture: The First Forty Years (1966-2005)"
University of Virginia Press

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture is one of the most prestigious honors awarded in the discipline of architecture and its related fields, arising from the unique environment afforded by Jefferson's design for the University of Virginia. Since 1966, the medal has recognized the architects, historians, politicians and benefactors behind some of the most influential designs of the last 50 years, including Shigeru Ban, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Richard Rogers, Jane Jacobs, Frank Gehry and Robert Venturi.

This book catalogues the first 40 recipients of the honor, outlining their achievements in brief biographies and showcasing their most famous work in color photographs. As Architecture School Dean Karen Van Lengen writes in the introduction, the medal "acknowledg[es] the comprehensive nature of the design and development of our public realm. ... As democracy is a process, so too is design a process that shapes current aesthetic and technological innovations and gives our culture meaning. The medalists in this book reflect these values and principles in many different ways."