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Peter Bohlin ’58, Alumni Rensselaer Hall of Fame Member and internationally-acclaimed architect recently spoke at a distinguished alumni lecture, presented by the Rensselaer Greater New York Executive Council, where Mr. Bohlin recollected his journey upon graduating from Rensselaer in 1958 until today. He spoke about opening his practice, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, only a year after graduating along with fellow Rensselaer alum Richard Powell ’51, ’59G. After Mr. Powell passed away in 2007, Mr. Bohlin and his colleagues at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson established the Richard E. Powell Class of 1951 and 1959 Memorial Scholarship with first preference to students enrolled in the School of Architecture.
Mr. Bohlin shared the inspiration behind his award-winning designs for world-renowned brands, including Apple’s iconic glass cube on 5th Avenue in New York City and numerous design concepts of all scales including small homes, tall towers, campus buildings, and our very own Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Sciences (CBIS) right on the Rensselaer campus.

If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can listen to audio from Mr. Bohlin’s lecture and follow along with his presentation, both linked at the bottom of this page. Photos from the event are also available in the gallery below.




More about Mr. Bohlin

Mr. Bohlin ’59 and Richard Powell ’51, ‘59G founded Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Wilkes-Barre in 1959. Additional offices have been established in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco and New York. Mr. Bohlin has been instrumental in the firm’s consistent record of design achievement. Their work is known for an extraordinary aesthetic, its responsiveness to particularity of place and user, and a quiet rigor that is both intellectual and intuitive. Cywinski Jackson’s award-winning civic, university, corporate and residential projects span the United States and the globe.

“…he makes great architecture for people. Peter moves from the log cabin to the glass box, from the initial conceptual sensibilities to the finely executed detail, from the abode to the civic center, with the same unassailable ethic. Peter Bohlin reconnects us to that sense of awe and wonder of architecture in the landscape – herein broadly defined.” So concluded James Timberlake’s presentation to the American Institute of Architects 2010 Gold Medal Award Committee, who selected Mr. Bohlin for this, its highest honor for an individual’s contribution to the practice and theory of architecture.

In 1994 Bohlin Cywinski Jackson received the Architecture Firm Award, the AIA’s highest honor recognizing an architectural practice; they are the recipient of nine national honor awards from the AIA and more than 625 regional, national and international design awards. Mr. Bohlin’s leadership of this group and overall inspiration have established a culture of thoughtful, thorough design-thinking throughout the practice, and he remains keenly interested in both broad conceptual thinking and detailed expression. He has led conceptual design meetings and provided ongoing review of design issues throughout all phases of projects.

Mr. Bohlin received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Master of Architecture degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Peter received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006 and is in the Rensselaer Hall of Fame.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Bohlin served as Chairman of the AIA Committee on Design from 1984 to 1985 and has been a guest design critic and visiting professor at a number of leading schools of architecture. He frequently serves as a juror for national, regional and state design competitions.

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