AIA Gold Medal 2007
Edward Larrabee Barnes
With its Gold Medal, the American Institute of Architects has posthumously honored the career of Edward Larrabee Barnes, deceased in 2004 at the age of 89. Graduated from Harvard University in 1942, the teachings of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer marked his work in a significant manner, remaining faithful to the use of simple geometries and modular structures throughout his entire professional career. After an enriching trip through Europe thanks to a Sheldon Travelling Fellowship, Barnes opened his own office in New York in 1949, from where he would design projects for civic, shopping, educational and religious spaces, aside from several campuses and urban plans. His list of most important works includes the Haystack Mountain School of Arts and Crafts in Deer Isle (1962), the Cathedral in Burlington (1978) or the tower for the IBM headquarters in New York (1983). However, the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis (1971) is probably his best known work: a minimalist grouping of gray-brick prismatic volumes, extended in 2005 by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron.