WASHINGTON, DC.- /PRNewswire/ -- The National Building Museum presented its Vincent Scully Prize to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The Museum's Prize recognizes The Prince's well-known advocacy on behalf of the built environment and his charities that support work related to urban design. The Prince was accompanied by his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall, and the visit to Washington marked their first to the United States as a royal couple.
The ceremony in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum featured a talk by His Royal Highness, focusing on His belief that more should be done to create urban areas with human scale that encourage a sense of community and pride of place, thereby helping to alleviate social problems such as vandalism and social exclusion. His talk was preceded by opening remarks by Chase Rynd, executive director of the Museum, a tribute speech from former Scully Prize recipient Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and a presentation of the Prize by Vincent Scully.
"The Scully Prize, established and administered by this magnificent National Building Museum, represents the recognition and gratitude that many citizens of this country have long held for His Royal Highness's courage, wisdom and leadership. While his person may have been away from this land, his spirit and his hard work long have been felt here: relevant, encouraging, and influential indeed!" said Ms. Plater-Zyberk. Mr. Scully warmly praised The Prince, "You have courageously revived, defended, and sustained the most humane principles of British and American architecture and town making."
Prior to the Prize ceremony, the royal couple toured the two exhibitions organized by The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment and The Prince's School of Traditional Arts. Dr. Khaled Azzam, director of The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, and Hank Dittmar who is chief executive of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment, as well as chairman of the Congress for New Urbanism, were on hand to discuss the exhibitions with the royal couple and gathered guests. Both exhibitions, located in second- floor galleries, will be open to the media on Friday, November 4, 2005 from 10:00 am to Noon, during which Dr. Azzam and Mr. Dittmar will lead tours. The exhibitions will then be open to the public from November 5, 2005 through
January 8, 2006.
The Foundation's exhibition, titled Civitas: Traditional Urbanism in Contemporary Practice, considers the principles underpinning the traditional urbanism movement by showcasing 16 groundbreaking examples of urban development from around the world. The exhibition illustrates the challenges, solutions, and methodologies of these projects and how they can provide the key to turning government policy for future developments into the reality of flourishing settlements. Projects are represented by models, photographs, and drawings.
The second exhibition, A Building Tradition: The Work of The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, presents exemplary works created by students, staff, and alumni of The Prince's School of Traditional Arts. The exhibition includes mosaics, stained glass, architectural drawings, ceramics, and more. The school's curriculum includes courses in geometry, Islamic architecture, icon painting, tilemaking, Islimi/Arabesque, stained glass, and mosaic craft. The school has also developed outreach programs for Muslim communities and younger people in particular -- both in the United Kingdom and in Muslim countries -- establishing vocational courses to teach craft and building links with universities and other institutions, especially in the Arab and Asian worlds.
The National Building Museum established the Vincent Scully Prize in 1999 to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. It is named after Professor Vincent Scully, to honor his work and extend his legacy. Scully is the Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Miami. He was the first prize recipient and has been followed by Jane Jacobs, Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, and His Highness the Aga Khan. The Prince of Wales is the sixth recipient. A jury composed of Chairman David Schwarz, Carolyn Brody, chair of the Museum's Board of Trustees, Robert Peck, Samina Quraeshi, and Robert A. M. Stern selects prize laureates.