Thomas Phifer, Principal, AIA, FAAR 95

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2010 Urban Green Expo Master Speaker

The Work of Thomas Phifer & Partners and the North Carolina Museum of Art


Wednesday, September 29th at 4PM // Altman A

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1953, Thomas Phifer attended Clemson University, graduating with a Master of Architecture. He founded Thomas Phifer and Partners in 1996, after working previously as senior design partner at Richard Meier & Partners, and as a senior design associate at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates.

The firm’s work approaches Modernism from a humanist standpoint, connecting the built environment to the natural world, with a collaborative, interdisciplinary process from beginning to end. Their portfolio is varied, with buildings and projects for public and private clients. Among these are a new building and 170-acre sculpture park for the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh; restoration and revitalization of historic Castle Clinton, a Lower Manhattan National Monument with a new performing arts addition; the United States Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, which introduces a new architectural vocabulary to the city’s historic district; Workstage 001, an environmentally advanced corporate office building for Steelcase, Inc in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the City Lights Project, the winning entry of an international design competition to create a new streetlight for New York City. The firm has also designed a number of private residential commissions, including the Taghkanic House in New York, which received a PA Award from Progressive Architecture Magazine, and, more recently, the Salt Point Residence, which has received both National and Chapter Honor AIA Awards, as well as an American Architecture Award.

Thomas Phifer has lectured at Harvard, Cornell, Penn, Columbia, University of Florida, University of Miami, and Clemson, and served on numerous juries. In 1995, he received the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Rome, and spent his residency at the Academy studying ecological design strategies based in methods from antiquity, a theme that has influenced much of his, and the firm’s work. He is married to architect and urban planner Jean Parker Phifer. They live in New York City and have two sons, William and Thomas.

Location & Hours

Metropolitan Pavilion &
The Altman Building
125 West 18th Street
New York City 10011

Exhibit Hall Hours:
Day 1: 10 am to 7 pm
Day 2: 10 am to 5 pm

Check the program schedule.

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