Acclaimed architect Kathryn Dean, founding partner of Dean/Wolf Architects in New York City, has been appointed director of the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. She previously served on the faculty of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture.
Dean’s appointment — which is effective this fall — was announced today by Bruce Lindsey, the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Community Collaboration and dean of architecture in the Sam Fox School. The appointment follows from the work of an advisory committee chaired by Stephen P. Leet, associate professor of architecture.
“Kathryn brings incredible experience that spans practice and education to this important new position,” Lindsey said. “She will maintain her innovative architectural practice in New York City, while building on her extensive teaching experience at Columbia University to help us envision, design and develop the future of our school.”
Dean launched Dean/Wolf in 1991 with her husband, Charles Wolf. Over the years the firm has earned a reputation for breathing new life into contemporary residential architecture, completing dozens of homes and major interior renovations. Their work has been featured in several exhibitions and more than a dozen books, including Forty Under Forty (1995) and The New City Home (2002), as well as in numerous architectural journals.
Major projects include Spiral House, a dramatically angled structure anchored to a shear rock formation, which won a 1998 Design Excellence Award from the New York State chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and the Urban-Interface Loft, built in a former Tribeca electrical warehouse, which won both a Design Excellence Award and an Honor Award from the national AIA in 1998. In 2007 Dean/Wolf won a New York AIA Honor Award for their Operable Boundary Townhouse Garden, which integrates interior and exterior spaces through a giant, pivoting steel-framed glass wall that is punctured by a continuous 30-foot-long table.
In recent years Dean/Wolf has completed a number of commercial and institutional developments, including gallery space for Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, a premier dealer in contemporary Asian art, and the Robinhood Library P.S. 151, a pro-bono elementary school project conceived as a kind of “reading playground.” In 2007 the firm won an Excellence in Design award from New York’s Art Commission for EMS Station 50, located at the edge of Queens Memorial Hospital, which was praised for successfully bridging the differing scales the hospital complex and the surrounding residential neighborhood.
A native of North Dakota, Dean received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Architectural Studies from North Dakota State University in 1981 and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 1983. Prior to launching Dean/Wolf she worked as a designer for the New York firms Martha Schwartz, Landscape Architect; Cooper Eckstut; and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.
Dean joined the Columbia faculty in 1991 as an adjunct professor and was made an assistant professor in 2000. She also has taught at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Architecture and was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the University of Florida.
In 1986-87 Dean was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship and spent a year in residence with the American Academy in Rome. Other honors include the Young Architects Award from Progressive Architecture magazine (1993); an Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York (1997); and an Alumni Achievement Award from North Dakota State University (1998).