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Simpson beats classical stars to win Notre Dame contest

John Simpson Architects has won a high-profile competition to design a new home for the prestigious Notre Dame School of Architecture, USA

The London-based studio defeated shortlisted rivals Demetri Porphyrios and South African architect Allan Greenberg in the race to re-home the famous Indiana faculty of traditional architecture and urban planning.

The finalists for the University of Notre Dame’s new purpose-built facility were chosen from a seven-strong long list of classical outfits including Robert Stern, Leon Krier and the UK’s Robert Adam.

The full longlist:

  • Leon Krier
  • Robert Stern
  • Tom Beeby
  • Robert Adam
  • John Simpson Architects
  • Demetri Porphyrios
  • Allan Greenberg

Beeby, Greenberg, Krier, Porphyrios and Stern have all previously won the school’s prestigious annual Driehaus Architecture Prize for classical architecture worth £120,000.

Set to start on site next year, the new 7,400m² building will be located on the south end of the Catholic university’s 505-hectare campus which is renowned for its number of pre-modernist-styled buildings.

Currently based in the nearby Bond Hall, the 116-year-old Notre Dame School of Architecture is home to around 300 undergraduates studying New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture.

Simpson said: ‘It is very rare these days for a school of Architecture to given a building that is purpose designed.’

He continued:  ‘It is very exciting and a privilege to have the opportunity to get involved with a project like this, particularly for a school of architecture that is effectively the leading institution teaching traditional and classical architecture and urban planning in the world.’

Michael Lykoudis, the Francis and Kathleen Rooney dean of architecture, said: ‘The design principles embodied in John Simpson’s built work reflect the principles and highest aspirations of our school, which embraces the timeless classical values of durability, functionality and beauty.

‘Our students and faculty will have a building that will be inspirational and instrumental in the teaching of architecture.’


Readers' comments (1)

  • While I congratulate John Simpson on being selected for this important design, I should point out that we asked not to be considered when we were invited as we were too busy to take on the project.
    Robert Adam

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