Eric Hoffman wins Young Architects Award

Sam Fox School faculty member, alum takes national honors from American Institute of Architects

A rendering of the new East Building at the Saint Louis Art Museum, designed by acclaimed British architect Sir David Chipperfield. WUSTL’s Eric Hoffman, winner of a national AIA Young Architects Award, served as Chipperfield’s local design liaison. Image courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects.

Eric Hoffman, professor of practice in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, has won a national 2013 Young Architects Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Hoffman is both the first Sam Fox School faculty member and the first Sam Fox School alumnus (M.Arch ’05) to receive the honor, among the highest available to architects in the early stages of their careers.

Eric Hoffman

Bruce Lindsey, dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, notes that, as a professor of practice, Hoffman “breeches the often-insular walls” between the academy and the profession at large.

“Eric’s teaching is distinguished by a tireless and demanding attention to the perspective of students and their professional futures,” Lindsey says. “But he also teaches through an example of professionalism that is simply impossible to miss.

“He combines design excellence, technical expertise, construction experience and, most of all, a passion about making great architecture.”

Hoffman will formally receive the award March 20 during the AIA’s “Leadership and Legislative Conference” in Washington, D.C. In addition, he will present his work alongside 2013 AIA Gold Medalist Thom Mayne (of Morphosis) and Laurinda Spear (of Arquitectonica) at the group’s national convention in June.

Eric Hoffman

A native of Plano, Texas, Hoffman earned a bachelor of architecture degree in 1999 from Oklahoma State University, where he was the first student to win all five graduating class awards.

Hoffman is currently co-director of patterhn. Founded with former classmate Tony Patterson (M.Arch ’04), the firm specializes in the design of cultural, civic and residential projects.

From 2005-2011, he was an associate and senior architect at Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum. He served as design liaison and project architect for HOK to acclaimed British architect Sir David Chipperfield on the 200,000-square-foot expansion of the Saint Louis Art Museum, slated to open in June.

From 2000-04, Hoffman was an architect with Joan Soranno’s award-winning studio within the Minneapolis firm Hammel, Green and Abrahamson. While there, he worked extensively on the Walker Art Center expansion, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss firm of Herzog & de Meuron.

Other notable projects — across all capacities — include conceptual designs for the Munich International Airport (2006), the Boston Center for the Arts (2008) and Four Brothers & Sister Creek (2011), all of which won AIA design awards. Most recently, patterhn was selected as a finalist for the Atlanta History Center.

Last fall, Hoffman helped to adapt and install “Make a House Intelligent” for the exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Conceived by Mexican architect Arturo Ortiz Struck and the urban research firm Taller Territorial de México, these simple structures are designed to be built quickly and inexpensively by small teams of people living in the informal Mexico City settlements known as colonias populares. The pavilion was constructed in one day and will remain in place through the summer.

Young Architects Award

Now in its 20th year, the Young Architects Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession. (The term “young architect” refers not to age, but to practitioners who have been licensed for fewer than 10 years.)

This year, the AIA recognized 15 young architects from around the country. Hoffman is only the third recipient to represent St. Louis.