Charles Gwathmey (June 19th 1938 – August 3rd 2009) was an American architect. He was a principal at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, as well as one of the five architects identified as The New York Five in 1969. The New York Five refers to the group of five New York City architects (Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier) whose work appeared in a Museum of Modern Art exhibition organized by Arthur Drexler in 1967, and the subsequent book Five Architects in 1972.
These five had a common allegiance to a pure form of architectural modernism, harkening back to the work of Le Corbusier in the 1920s and 1930s, although on closer examination their work was far more individual. The grouping may have had more to do with social and academic allegiances, particularly the mentoring role of Philip Johnson.
One of Gwathmey's most famous designs is the 1992 renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Training and tuition
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, he was the son of the American painter Robert Gwathmey and photographer Rosalie Gwathmey. Charles Gwathmey attended the University of Pennsylvania and received his Master of Architecture degree in 1962 from Yale School of Architecture, where he won both The William Wirt Winchester Fellowship as the outstanding graduate and a Fulbright Grant.
Gwathmey has served as President of the Board of Trustees for The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1981.
From 1965 through 1991, Gwathmey taught at Pratt Institute, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Texas, and the University of California at Los Angeles. He was Davenport Professor (1983 and 1999) and Bishop Professor (1991) at Yale, and the Eliot Noyes Visiting Professor at Harvard University (1985). Gwathmey was the Spring 2005 William A. Bernoudy Resident in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome.
Career and awards
Gwathmey's firm designed the Museum Of Contemporary Art of North Miami, Florida in 1995, and the Astor Place Tower, a 21-story condominium project in Manhattan's East Village, in 2005.
Gwathmey was the recipient of the Brunner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1970, and in 1976 he was elected to the Academy. In 1983, he won the Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and in 1985, he received the first Yale Alumni Arts Award from the Yale School of Architecture. In 1988 the Guild Hall Academy of Arts awarded Gwathmey its Lifetime Achievement Medal in Visual Arts, followed in 1990 by a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Society of Architects.