Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, The Shed in New York, USA, 2019.
River Road is a proposed idea for Hartford’s downtown riverfront area under Hartford400. Interstate 84 would be rerouted out of downtown and Interstate 91 would be capped at the level of the top of the river dikes, allowing for the connection of every city street to a redeveloped riverfront.
Kyle Troyer (MArch'23) and Jasmine Siyu Wu (MCP'23)
Weitzman to Honor Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hartford400
Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), the pioneering New York-based design studio led by Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro, and Benjamin Gilmartin, has been selected to receive the 2022 Kanter Tritsch Medal in Architecture, and Suisman Urban Design and the iQuilt Partnership have been selected to receive the 2022 Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal in City and Regional Planning for Hartford400, a comprehensive plan to make Hartford, Connecticut a sustainable, multi-modal region and capital city by its 400th anniversary in 2035. Two of three professional honors bestowed annually by the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, they will be presented at a February 21, 2023 ceremony which raises funds for student scholarships. The event will take place at The Shed, the independent, nonprofit cultural venue in Midtown Manhattan West designed by DS+R and opened in 2019.
“American cities of all sizes are facing once-in-a-generation challenges, but they are still our best engines for innovation and equity,” said Frederick Steiner, dean and Paley Professor at Weitzman. “Both Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Hartford400 illustrate the opportunity for designers and urban planners to harness the built environment’s dynamism and complexity to improve the quality of life for all.”
The Kanter Tritsch Medal in Architecture was established in 2017 through a gift from Penn alumna Lori Kanter Tritsch (MArch’85), a member of the Board of Advisors 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 Medal honors an architect or firm that has changed the course of design history, with a particular focus on the areas of energy conservation, environmental quality, and/or diversity.
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 his wife, Keiko Sakamoto, 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.
Selected from a list of nominees submitted by Weitzman students, DS+R and Hartford400 join previous medalists Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (2018); A. Eugene Kohn (2019); the Fourth Regional Plan, Regional Plan Association (2019); Peter Eisenman (2020); GreenPlan Philadelphia, City of Philadelphia (2020); MASS Design Group (2021); and the City of Minneapolis (2021).
In conjunction with the professional medals, the Weitzman School selected two outstanding students entering their final year of study to receive a $50,000 scholarship each for the 2022 - 2023 Academic Year. The recipient of the 2022 Kanter Tritsch Prize in Energy and Architectural Innovation is Kyle Troyer (MArch’23) and the recipient of the 2022 Witte-Sakamoto Family Prize in City and Regional Planning is Jasmine Siyu Wu (MCP’23). In addition, based on the outstanding submissions received, Harsana Siva (MArch’23) has received the Weitzman Architecture Honorable Mention and a $10,000 scholarship for the 2022 - 2023 Academic Year. Helen Lea (MCP’23) has received the Weitzman City and Regional Planning Honorable Mention and a $10,000 scholarship for the 2022 - 2023 Academic Year.
The juries for the Kanter Tritsch Prize and Medal were chaired by Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and chair of architecture at Weitzman, and founding partner at Archi-Tectonics. The juries for the Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal and Prize were chaired by Lisa Servon, the Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and chair of city and regional planning at Weitzman.
Learn more about the winners, past and present, on the Weitzman Awards website.
About Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Founded in 1981, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. With a focus on cultural and civic projects, DS+R’s work addresses the changing role of institutions and the future of cities. The studio is based in New York and is comprised of over 100 architects, designers, artists and researchers, led by four partners—Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin. DS+R’s cross-genre work has been distinguished with TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” list and the first grant awarded in the field of architecture from the MacArthur Foundation, which identified Diller and Scofidio as, “architects who have created an alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism. Their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.” DS+R completed two of the largest architecture and planning initiatives in New York City’s recent history: the adaptive reuse of an obsolete, industrial rail infrastructure into the High Line, a 1.5 mile-long public park, and the transformation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ half-century-old campus. The studio also completed the 35-acre Zaryadye Park, adjacent to St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square in Moscow. They are currently working on large urban public spaces in Madrid and Milan.
Hartford400 is a a comprehensive, river-centered vision plan for Connecticut’s capital city and the Connecticut Valley region. The plan envisions a major reconfiguration of the region’s infrastructure— highways, railroads and floodwalls—to remove historic physical and racial barriers between neighborhoods and the largely inaccessible riverfront, and to re-establish the Connecticut River as the heart of the city and region. By removing, reconfiguring or covering the web of interstate highways in the urban core, the plan opens up new land for parks, greenways, public spaces and mixed-use development, all served by new boulevards and bridges supporting transit, biking, and walking. A growing network of transit lines and stations help link and energize the region’s nearly 40 historic town centers, serving 1.1 million residents. The overall goal of Hartford 400 is to make the Connecticut Valley and its capital city more sustainable, prosperous, equitable, mobile, and vibrant, with substantial completion of the vision by 2035, the 400th anniversary of urban settlement in the region.
The plan’s conceptual framework and detailed master plan was designed by Suisman Urban Design, led by Doug Suisman, FAIA, under the auspices of the iQuilt Partnership, Hartford’s non-profit urban revitalization organization, led by Executive Director Jackie Mandyck. Over the five years of Hartford400’s development, the iQuilt Partnership has collaborated with dozens of civic, cultural, environmental, religious, neighborhood and business organizations, conducted hundreds of interviews and meetings with residents and community leaders, and won wide support from local, state, and federal officials. The Hartford400 vision aligns and integrates multiple existing plans and projects by a range of partner agencies and municipalities, including the Capital Regional Council of Governments, Capital Region Development Authority, Connecticut Department of Transportation, MetroHartford Alliance, Riverfront Recapture, the Town of East Hartford, and the City of Hartford, among others.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Gawlicki Family Foundation provided the critical early financial support for the plan’s development. Hartford400 projects have recently been awarded more than $3 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Connecticut to proceed with detailed planning and design. The Hartford 400 plan recently won the 2022 Honor Award in Urban Design from the American Institute of Architects / California.