Michael Graves (July 9, 1934 - March 12, 2015) was an American architect. Identified as one of The New York Five, as well as Memphis Group, Graves was known first for his contemporary building designs and some prominent public commissions that became iconic examples of Postmodern architecture, such as the Portland Building and Denver Public Library. His recognition grew through designing domestic products sold by premium Italian housewares maker Alessi, and later low-cost new designs at stores such as Target and J. C. Penney in the United States. He was a representative of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture and formerly designed postmodern buildings, and was recognized as a major influence in all three movements.
Graves was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He attended Broad Ripple High School, receiving his diploma in 1952. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He earned a master's degree in architecture from Harvard University in 1959. Graves won the Rome Prize in 1960 and spent the next two years at the American Academy in Rome. He describes himself as "transformed" by his experience at the American Academy in Rome: "I discovered new ways of seeing and analyzing both architecture and landscape."
From 2003, Graves was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a spinal cord infection. He died at his home in Princeton, New Jersey on March 12, 2015 at the age of 80.
From 1964 until the end of his life, Graves was an architect in public practice in Princeton, New Jersey. He directed the firm Michael Graves & Associates, which has offices in Princeton and in New York City.
Early in his career, Graves was, along with Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier, considered as one of the "New York Five", a group of New York City architects who espoused a pure form of modernism. In contrast to his later career, Graves spent much of the 1970s designing modernist residences, such as the Snyderman House in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
For most of his career, however, Graves shifted away from modernism toward postmodernism and new urbanism. One of his most famous works, the Portland Building, which opened in 1982 in Portland, Oregon, is regarded as the first major built example of postmodern architecture. The celebrated but controversial building, composed of municipal offices, is subject to an ongoing preservation debate. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
Graves subsequently received a number of major commissions. Some of his most notable completed buildings include the Humana Building (a skyscraper in Louisville, Kentucky), the Denver Public Library, and the renovation of the Detroit Institute of Arts. He built many buildings for the Walt Disney Company, including the company headquarters in Burbank, California,Disney's Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris, and the Swan and Dolphin resorts at Walt Disney World. In the 1980s, he also designed an expansion for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, but the highly contested design went unbuilt due to local opposition.
Though Graves' prominence as an architect may have reached its highest point during the 1980s and into the early 1990s, he continued to practice as an architect throughout his life, completing various works such as the O'Reilly Theater, the NCAA Hall of Champions, 425 Fifth Avenue, and the Louwman Museum.
Graves also received recognition for his multi-year renovation of his personal residence in Princeton, nicknamed "The Warehouse".
Product and furniture design
In 1985, Graves designed a stainless steel teakettle featuring a red whistle shaped like a bird for the Italian company Alessi, which became the company's all-time bestselling product.
Cedar Gables House (1998) was commissioned by Target Corp as a model home to showcase his new line of housewares.
Graves designed the scaffolding used for the restoration of the Washington Monument in Washington DC. During that assignment, which Target Corp sponsored, he met a Target executive who appreciated his product design and a relationship was formed. He began designing consumer products for the mass market and Target sold his products through their stores. In 1998, Target commissioned Graves to design a model home to showcase the new line of housewares; Graves went a step further did a complete design of the contemporary house with custom furniture, lighting, fixtures, and other unique items, making it only one of three homes he designed and furnished. By 2009, however, he noted the house "doesn't have a wow factor. That gets old quickly." The partnership went from less than a dozen objects in 1997 to more than 2,000 when the partnership with Target ended in 2012. By 2013, concerned about Target's partnerships with other designers with less-successful outcomes, he explored other relationships to bring products to consumers. When a former Target executive became CEO of J.C. Penney, Graves' products began being sold exclusively through J.C. Penney.
After Graves became paralyzed, his use of a wheelchair turned him into a "reluctant health expert", with an increased awareness of accessible design. He focused his attention on the design of wheelchairs, hospital furnishings, hospitals, and disabled veteran's housing.
In 1962, Graves became the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus at Princeton University School of Architecture. He held the position for thirty-nine years, while simultaneously practicing architecture, before finally retiring from the post in 2001.
In 2014, the Michael Graves School of Architecture was established at Kean University in Union, New Jersey.
Graves received honorary degrees from the University of Miami in 2001 and Emory University in 2013. and
Graves was a trustee of the American Academy in Rome and served as president of its Society of Fellows from 1980 to 1984.
Awards and honors
Graves was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1979. Graves was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1999, the American Prize for Architecture in 1994 AIA Gold Medal in 2001, and the Driehaus Architecture Prize in 2012. He was also a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. In 2010, Graves was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
From October 13, 2014, to April 5, 2015, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Graves's firm, Michael Graves Architecture and Design, the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, held a retrospective exhibition of his work. The exhibition entitled "Michael Graves: Past as Prologue/".
On November 22, 2014, the Architectural League of New York held a daylong symposium in his honor at the Parsons School of Design. Several prominent architects such as Steven Holl and Peter Eisenman, as well as Graves served as guests and lecturers.
425 Fifth Avenue in New York, New York, 2000
- Hanselmann House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1968
- Benacerraf House, Princeton, New Jersey, 1969
- Snyderman House, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1972
- Wageman House, Princeton, New Jersey, 1974
- Fargo-Moorhead Cultural Center Bridge, Fargo, North Dakota, 1977
- Plocek Residence, Warren, New Jersey, 1977 (Graves' first postmodern design)
- Roma Interrotta Exhibition, Rome, Italy, 1978
- Portland Building, Portland, Oregon, 1982
- Humana Building, Louisville, Kentucky, 1982
- Newark Museum expansion, Newark, New Jersey, 1982
- San Juan Capistrano Library, San Juan Capistrano, California, 1982
- Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1984
- Aventine Mixed Use Development, La Jolla, California, 1985
- Crown American Building, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1986
- Team Disney headquarters building, Burbank, California, 1986
- Graves Residence ("The Warehouse"), Princeton, New Jersey, 1986
- Shiseido Health Club, Tokyo, Japan, 1986
- Clos Pegase Winery, Calistoga, California, 1987
- Bryan Hall, University Of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1987
- Dolphin Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, 1987
- Swan Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, 1987
- Metropolis master plan, Los Angeles, California, 1988
- Tajima Office Building, Tokyo, Japan, 1988
- Disney's Hotel New York, Euro Disney Resort (now Disneyland Paris), Marne-la-Vallée, France, 1989
- 10 Peachtree Place, Atlanta, Georgia, 1990
- Clark County Library and Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1990
- Dairy Barn renovation, Harbourton, New Jersey, 1990
- Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado, 1990
- Detroit Institute of Arts master plan, Detroit, Michigan, 1990
- Fukuoka Hyatt Hotel and Office Building, Fukuoka, Japan, 1990
- Kasumi Research and Training Center, Tsukaba, Japan, 1990
- Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, 1990
- Malibu House (private residence), Malibu, California, 1990
- Onjuku Town Hall, Onjuku, Japan, 1990
- Engineering Center, University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1990
- Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, Youngstown, Ohio, 1990
- Arts and Sciences Building, Stockton University, Pomona, New Jersey, 1991
- Thomson Consumer Electronics Americas headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1992
- U.S. Courthouse renovation, Trenton, New Jersey, 1992
- Astrid Park Plaza Hotel and Business Center, Antwerp, Belgium, 1993
- International Finance Corporation Headquarters of the World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1993
- Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 1993
- Ministry Of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Hague, Netherlands, 1993
- Nexus Momochi Residential Tower, Fukuoka, Japan, 1993
- Archdiocesan Center, Newark, New Jersey, 1993
- Rome Reborn Exhibition, Washington, D.C., 1993
- U.S. Post Office, Celebration, Florida, 1993
- 1500 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 1994
- Ocean Steps Retail Center with 1500 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, Florida, 1994
- One Port Center (Delaware River Port Authority headquarters), Camden, New Jersey, 1994
- Pura-Williams House, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, 1994
- Miramar Resort Hotel, El Gouna, Egypt, 1995
- Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, Topeka, Kansas, 1995
- The Engineering Research Center, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1995
- Rare Books Library, American Academy, Rome, Italy, 1996
- Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library, Alexandria, Virginia, 1996
- House At Indian Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1996
- Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1996
- Lake Hills Country Club, Seoul, Korea, 1996
- Miele Americas Headquarters, Princeton, New Jersey, 1996
- O'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1996
- French Institute/Alliance Française Library, New York, New York, 1997
- De Luwte House, Loenen aan de Vecht, Netherlands, 1997
- North Hall Residence, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1997
- El Gouna Golf Club, El Gouna, Egypt, 1997
- El Gouna Golf Hotel, El Gouna, Egypt, 1997
- El Gouna Golf Villas, El Gouna, Egypt, 1997
- Fortis/AG Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, 1997
- Fukuoka Office Building, Fukuoka, Japan, 1997
- Hyatt Hotel Taba Heights, Taba Heights, Egypt, 1997
- Intercontinental Hotel, Taba Heights, Egypt, 1997
- Laurel Hall, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, 1997
- NCAA Hall of Champions and headquarters, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1997
- U.S. Courthouse, Washington, D.C., 1997
- Bristol/Savoy Towers (Ten Good City), Fukuoka, Japan, 1998
- Cedar Gables House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1998
- Impala Building, New York, New York, 1998
- Castalia Building (Ministry of Public Health), The Hague, Netherlands, 1998
- Saint Martin's College Library, Lacey, Washington, 1998
- Master plan, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, 1999
- Laurel Hall expansion, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, 1999
- Philadelphia Eagles/Novacare Training Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1999
- Pittsburgh Cultural District Service Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1999
- Private residence, Harbourton, New Jersey, 1999
- Martel, Brown and Jones Colleges at Rice University, Houston, Texas, 1999
- Singapore National Library Competition, Singapore, 1999
- Target House Fountain, Memphis, Tennessee, 1999
- Washington Monument scaffolding, Washington, D.C., 1999
- Watch Technicum, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1999
- 425 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, 2000
- Capital Regional Medical Center, Tallahassee Community Hospital, Tallahassee, Florida, 2000
- Famille Tsukishima Apartment Building, Tokyo, Japan, 2000
- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Houston Branch, Houston, Texas, 2000
- Hart Production Studios, San Francisco, California, 2000
- Newark Museum Science Gallery, Newark, New Jersey, 2000
- Perseus Office, Washington, D.C., 2000
- Private residence, Lake Geneva, Switzerland, 2000
- U.S. Embassy Compound (embassy and housing), Seoul, South Korea, 2000
- Children's Theatre Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2001
- Fukuoka Office Building, Fukuoka, Japan, 2001
- Kasteel Holterveste, De Haverleij, Netherlands, 2001
- Mahler 4, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2001
- Michael C. Carlos Museum renovation, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 2001
- Three On The Bund, Shanghai, China, 2001
- Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton, New Jersey, 2002
- U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters, Washington, D.C., 2002
- Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics/Kohn Hall, University of California, Santa Barbara, California, 2002
- National Museum of Prehistory, Taitung, Taiwan, 2002
- Arts and Science Building, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey, 2002
- New Jersey State Police Training Center and headquarters, Trenton, New Jersey, 2002
- Resort master plan, Canary Islands, Spain, 2002
- South Campus master plan, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 2002
- Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Rockledge, Florida, 2002.
- Target Club Wedd House contest prize, 2002
- Campus master plan, Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, Florida, 2003
- Sigma Chi fraternity house, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 2003
- Housing For Martin House, Trenton, New Jersey, 2003
- The Pinnacle and 260 Main Street, White Plains, New York, 2003
- U.S. Courthouse, Nashville, Tennessee, 2003
- Alter Hall, Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004
- Indianapolis Art Center master plan, Indianapolis, Indiana, 2004
- Maxwell Place On The Hudson, Interiors Block A, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2004
- Chancellor Green Interiors, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 2004
- Riverwalk 2, Nishinippon Institute of Technology Design School, Kitakyushu, Japan, 2004
- Trump International Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 2004
- School Of Business, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, 2004
- 701 E. Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, 2005
- Azulera Resort Hotel and Residences, Brasilito Bay Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 2005
- Burj Dubai Towers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2005
- The Enclave Residential Condominiums, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2005
- College Of Psychology and Autism, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, 2005
- Hyatt Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005
- Luxury Condominium Towers, Beirut, Lebanon, 2005
- Maxwell Place On The Hudson, Interiors Block B, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2005
- Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, 2005
- Paterson Public Schools complex, Patterson, New Jersey, 2005
- Riverside Park residential development master plan, Fairfax County, Virginia, 2005
- Springhill Lake master plan, Greenbelt, Maryland, 2005
- Storehouse prototype retail store, West Palm Beach, Florida, 2005
- Allegria Residence, 6th of October City, Egypt, 2006
- The Falls at Lake Travis community master plan, Austin, Texas, 2006
- Four Seasons Residence at Town Lake, Austin, Texas, 2006
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts expansion, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2006
- Notre Dame Club, Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, 2006
- Private residence, Sentosa, Singapore, 2006
- St. Regis Hotel Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, 2006
- Shake-a-Leg Residences, Miami, Florida, 2006
- Saint Coletta of Greater Washington, Washington, D.C., 2006
- Wyndham Hotel prototypes, 2006
- School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, New York, 2007
- Community master plan, New Cairo, Egypt, 2007
- Detroit Institute of Arts major renovation and expansion, Detroit, Michigan, 2007
- MarketFair Retail Center, Princeton, New Jersey, 2007
- Equestrian City Tower, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2008
- Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton, New Jersey, 2008
- Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy and Department of Physics Building, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 2009
- Alter Hall, Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2009
- Wu-Wilcox Halls additions and interiors, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 2006
- Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore, 2010
- Louwman Museum (National Automobile Museum), The Hague, Netherlands, 2010
- PS/IS 42, Arverne, New York, 2012
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- ^ Goldberger, Paul (1996-02-11), "Architecture View: A Little Book That Led Five Men to Fame", The New York Times
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- ^ "Rita Dove to Deliver Emory Commencement Speech and Receive Two Honorary Degrees from Emerson College and Emory University". virginia.edu. Retrieved 2015.
- ^ "Society of Fellows: Michael Graves, FAR 1962, RAAR 1978". American Academy in Rome. Retrieved 2017.
- ^ Snow, Shauna (September 22, 1999). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. p. 2.
- ^ "Senior Fellows". di.net. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 2015.
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