Hudson Yards Master Plan

2012 L. Michael Goldsmith Lecture

The 2012 L. Michael Goldsmith Lecture focuses on the first major office building (for the Coach company) to be constructed within the Hudson Yards Master Plan, just west of Midtown Manhattan and one of the signature initiatives of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. William Pedersen is the lead designer for the new tower and Michael Van Valkenburgh the landscape architect for the Hudson Yards Master Plan.

Featuring: William Pedersen, vice chairman, Kohn Penderson Fox (KPF) and Michael Van Valkenburgh, president and CEO, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA)

William Pedersen is the senior design partner of KPF, which he founded in 1976 with A. Eugene Kohn and Sheldon Fox. KPF has earned the Architectural Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects and the Gold Medal of Honor by the New York Chapter of the AIA. Pedersen has received the AIA National Honor Award seven times in recognition of each of the following projects: 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago (1984); the Procter & Gamble World Headquarters in Cincinnati (1987); the World Bank in Washington D.C. (1998); the New Academic Complex, City University of New York/Baruch College (2003); Westendstrasse 1/DG Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (1994); the Gannett/USA Today Headquarters in Virginia (2005); and One Jackson Square in New York (2011).

Pedersen holds several design patents for furniture and lighting fixtures, including the L’Ale Interior Sconce for Ivalo Lighting, which was awarded the Chicago Athenaeum Green Good Design Award in 2010. Other major projects include the Aid Association for Lutherans in Appleton Wisconsin, 1250 Rene Levesque in Montreal, the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse in Portland, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Hong Kong, Samsung Electronic Headquarters in Seoul, First Hawaiian Bank in Honolulu, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the Goldman Sachs Headquarters in London, the Chapman Graduate School of Business at FIU, the Buffalo Federal Courthouse, the IBM Headquarters in Armonk, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the University of Minnesota Science Teaching, and student services center.

He received the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as well as the Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in architecture from Tau Sigma Delta, the National Honor Society for Architecture and the Allied Arts. Additional honors include the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture for Contributions in Architecture as an Art (1985), awarded by the American Academy and the Institute of Arts and Letters; the 1990 University of Minnesota Alumni Achievement Award; and the Rome Prize in Architecture (1965), awarded by the American Academy in Rome.

Pedersen lectures internationally and serves on academic and professional juries and symposia. He is on the board of the University of Minnesota Foundation and has been a visiting professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia University, and Harvard University. He has held the Eero Saarinen Chair at Yale University and has also been the Otis Lecturer in Japan. In 1989, he was honored as the Herbert S. Greenward Distinguished Professor in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has degrees in architecture from the University of Minnesota and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael Van Valkenburgh’s leadership of MVVA is an extension of his passion for landscape as a living artistic medium that deepens and enriches people's lives through the confluence of aesthetics, technology, and ecology. Having spent his adult life in Boston and New York, he has combined his love of cities and the energy of urban living with the lessons of his childhood on a dairy farm in rural New York State, where economy of means was prioritized. Van Valkenburgh earned a bachelor of science in landscape architecture from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a Master of Fine Arts in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His personal and educational background creates a foundation for his integrative approach to design, which finds inspiration in the pragmatics of science while aspiring to the highest levels of artistic expression and social purpose.

Van Valkenburgh oversees a wide range of projects in both the Cambridge and New York offices, where he promotes collaboration and discovery through his inclusive working style. Currently the Charles Eliot Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, he teaches landscape design as well as the use of plants as design material, synthesizing his broad range of influences into a comprehensive and balanced curriculum. He is a registered landscape architect in more than 25 states and Canada, and is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Van Valkenburgh received the National Design Award in Environmental Design from the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2003. MVVA’s design for Brooklyn Bridge Park was awarded the prestigious Brendan Gill Prize from the Municipal Art Society of New York, having been selected as the work of art in 2010 that best exemplifies and contributes to the vibrant life of New York City. He was named the 2010 recipient of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for contributions to the practice of architecture as an art, making him, after Dan Kiley, only the second landscape architect to be honored in the award’s 45-year history. In 2011, Van Valkenburgh was the recipient of the ASLA Design Medal, and he will be a speaker at the MoMA’s “Second Wave of Modernism” conference in late November.