One of the world’s most prestigious architecture institutions, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), has been donated the generous sum of $100,000 by international architect Frank Gehry and his wife Berta. Gehry has had a longstanding relationship with the university and the contribution will be used to initiate the Gehry Prize, an annual grant awarded at the Graduate Thesis Weekend in September. The first Gehry Prize will be presented at the 2012 graduation ceremony on 9 September 2012.
Speaking on the donation, SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss said: “The entire school community, including students, faculty, staff, administration and board, is extremely appreciative of this extraordinary gift to SCI-Arc. Thanks to this contribution, we can warranty that SCI-Arc’s advocacy for architecture as a rousing, speculative adventure will endure.” Moss also referenced a quote from Thucydides which ‘conveys the spirit in which the prize is given’: “They were born never to live in peace and quiet themselves and to prevent the rest of the world from doing so.”
SCI-Arc is an independent, accredited degree-granting university with a 500-strong student body and 80 faculty members, the majority of which are practicing architects. Gehry has been involved with the institution since its inception in 1972, regularly visiting for lectures, seminars and special events at SCI-Arc’s base, a quarter-mile-long former freight depot in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. During his high profile career, Gehry has gathered a devoted following through projects such as the Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Beekman Tower in New York. See images to the left for Gehry’s recent works.