Seaside contributor awarded Notre Dame architecture award By Wendy O. Dixon
Italian architect Pier Carlo Bontempi, who wrote the plans for the Central Beachfront Plaza to be located south of the Krier Tower in Seaside, received the 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame in March.
The Driehaus Prize is awarded to a living architect whose work embodies the principles of traditional and classical architecture and urbanism in contemporary society, and creates a positive, long-lasting cultural, environmental and artistic impact.
“He has been an enthusiastic and helpful member of the Seaside Pienza Institute, organizing numerous tours of Parma and its surroundings, including some of his strikingly beautiful buildings and urban neighborhoods,” says Seaside founder Robert Davis, who has been on the Driehaus Prize jury since 2009. “His Place, Toscane, near Paris, was also visited by Seaside Pienza members several years ago.”
Bontempi’s award-winning international work includes a block recovery plan in the historic center in Parma, Italy, as well as the Place de Toscane and the “Quartier du Lac” resort in Val d’Europe near Paris. His studio works on new traditional architecture and architectural projects including restoration, rebuilding and town planning. A native of Fornovo di Taro, Parma, Bontempi studied architecture at the University of Florence and has taught at Florence University, the École Spéciale d’Architecture of Paris, Syracuse University of New York in Florence, the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart and the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture in London.
“Against strong opposition in Italy, Pier Carlo has persisted in realizing his vision of the city, composed of well-proportioned, human-scaled streets and squares lined by buildings that are simple, beautiful, durable and sustainable,” Davis says. “I look forward to working with him on the realization of a new plaza for Seaside’s Central Beach, with Krier’s tower on the north side of the plaza and Eric Watson’s Seaside Pavilion on the south side.”
Other Driehaus laureates who have worked in Seaside are Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Andrés Duany, Léon Krier, Robert A. M. Stern and Jaquelin T. Robertson, many of whom also were awarded the Seaside Prize, which celebrates individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the quality and character of communities.