Graduate Architecture

Posted September 30, 2020
  • Peter Eisenman

  • A proposal for Center City from GreenPlan Philadelphia, 2011

    Rendering courtesy WRT

  • Paul Germaine McCoy

  • Avery Harmon

2020 Weitzman Award Winners Announced

The Weitzman School has selected Peter Eisenman as the 2020 recipient of the Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design, and the City of Philadelphia as the 2020 recipient of the Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning for GreenPlan Philadelphia.

“Architects and planners are being challenged today in new and complex ways,” says Fritz Steiner, dean and Paley Professor of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, “but complexity isn’t the enemy. Just look at the portfolio of Peter Eisenman and the legacy of GreenPlan Philadelphia.”

The Kanter Tritsch Medal for Excellence in Architecture and Environmental Design was established in 2017 through a $1.25 million gift from Penn alumna Lori Kanter Tritsch (MArch’85), a member of the Board of Overseers at Weitzman, and her partner and fellow Penn alumnus William P. Lauder, who holds a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School and is a Penn trustee. The Prize honors an architect who has changed the course of design history, with a particular focus on the areas of energy conservation, environmental quality, and/or diversity.

“Peter always pushes the boundaries of architecture and has given architects so much to think about over the past 50 years,” says Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and chair of architecture, and founding partner at Archi-Tectonics. “And then there is his stunning built work: Who else could have created the Holocaust memorial in Berlin? It is such a social space of healing.”

The Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning was established by William Witte (C’73, MCP’75), an alumnus of the Weitzman School and member of the Board of Overseers, and his wife, Keiko Sakamoto, Esq. to recognize a firm, team, or professional for an exemplary plan that advances plan making in at least four of the following areas: social equity, environmental quality, design, public health, mobility, housing affordability, and economic development.

“GreenPlan Philadelphia shows you how organizations of all shapes and sizes can come together with common purpose,” said Lisa Servon, the Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and chair of city and regional planning.

The original plan was developed by WRT for the City of Philadelphia during the administration of former Mayor Michael Nutter. The ideas and strategies laid out in GreenPlan have helped inform a variety of active programs in Philadelphia today, including Greenworks Philadelphia, Tree Philly, Green City, Clean Waters and more. Together, these efforts are making Philadelphia a healthier, more vibrant and more climate resilient city that can thrive in the future.

In concert with the professional medalists, the Weitzman School has selected two outstanding students entering their final year of study to receive a $50,000 scholarship each for the 2020-2021 Academic Year.

The Kanter Tritsch Prize is given to a Master of Architecture candidate entering the final year of study who demonstrates transformational thinking on the built environment and innovation in his or her approach to one or more challenges of energy, ecology, and social equity. The recipient of the 2020 Prize is Paul Germaine McCoy, whose work is deeply invested in design questions about time, aesthetics, history, and the environment.

The Witte-Sakamoto Family Prize is given to a Master of City and Regional Planning candidate for innovation and impact in planning. The recipient of the 2020 Prize is Avery Harmon, whose work explores potential solutions to improve the lives of African Americans through the built environment.

The honorees will be recognized in a virtual event planned for December 2, 2020. For more information or to support the next generation of planners, architects, landscape architects, preservationists, or artists to be educated at the School, contact Jeff Snyder, assistant dean for development and alumni at or 215.817.1770.