Turner Prize for Innovation in Construction Technology. The prize recognizes notable advances and high achievement in construction methods and processes. As an architect during an impressive 55-year career, Pei has worked closely with engineers and contractors to create buildings and other structures that have set new standards for construction quality.
On Tuesday, April 15, the Museum will host a reception, sponsored by Turner Construction Company, at 6:30 p.m. to honor Pei. Following that, he will be formally presented with the prize during a ceremony and program from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. During the program, architect David Childs, FAIA, engineer Leslie E. Robertson, PE, and architectural author Carter Wiseman will engage Pei in a conversation about his role in stimulating innovations in construction technology -- from the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, to the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, to the famous glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, and the Miho Museum in Japan.
Interested members of the public wishing to attend the reception and program on April 15 can register on line at www.nbm.org or by calling 202-272-2448. Advance registration and a fee are required.
The Henry C. Turner Prize is named after the founder of Turner Construction Company, which was established in May 1902 in New York City. The prize recognizes an invention, an innovative methodology, and/or exceptional leadership by an individual or team of individuals in construction technology. This broadly includes construction techniques, innovations and practices, construction and project management, and engineering design. The prize primarily recognizes achievements within the United States, but innovations or achievements by Americans in construction technology outside the United States are also eligible for consideration. At the discretion of the prize jury, the prize will be awarded annually.
To commemorate its centennial anniversary in 2002, Turner Construction Company established an endowment at the Museum to fund the prize, which carries a cash award of $25,000. Structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson was the first prize recipient in 2002. Robertson's 50-year career included commissions for the structural design and construction of three of the world's six tallest buildings, including the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
"The National Building Museum is greatly honored that the internationally acclaimed architect I. M. Pei will accept the Henry C. Turner Prize," said Carolyn S. Brody, chair of the Museum's Board of Trustees. "His magnificent designs have challenged engineers to devise innovative structural solutions, and his exacting expectations for construction quality have encouraged contractors to achieve high standards."
"America should be proud of the many innovations in construction technology that our engineers, architects, and contractors have developed over the years. It is for this reason that Turner Construction Company has funded an endowment at the National Building Museum for a prize celebrating these achievements. The Henry C. Turner Prize's second recipient, I. M. Pei, is a pre-eminent architectural practitioner who has influenced the process of construction," said Robert E. Fee, chief executive officer of Turner Construction Company.
According to Thomas C. Leppert, chairman and chief executive officer of The Turner Corporation, "Turner has been associated with the Museum and has been a strong supporter since 1993. Given our standing as the leading general builder in the country, with 45 national offices, we feel a very strong connection to the Museum and its mission of encouraging people to 'Come explore the world we build for ourselves.'"
I. M. Pei's elegant designs over the past five decades have inspired many in the construction industry to carry forward his innovations and his visions. Beyond the fact that he makes full use of available technologies, his approach to design is not swayed by popular trends. His attention to detail in design and in construction has motivated engineers and contractors alike to assist him in creating buildings and structures of exemplary quality, thus providing a uniquely positive influence on all within the construction industry. His design for the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong inspired engineers to create the first space truss frame for a tall building. Pei's iconic glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris required contractors and engineers to develop an innovative structural system to support the panes of glass. And his design and specifications for the Miho Museum in Japan required precision construction and finishing.
The jury for the Henry C. Turner Prize is composed of five members -- Chris T. Hendrickson, chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; J. Robert Hillier, FAIA, founding partner of The Hillier Group, an architecture firm in headquartered Princeton, N.J.; Clyde B. Tatum, professor and chair, department of civil and environmental engineering, and director of the construction institute, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Thomas R. Turner, vice president of national marketing, Turner Construction Company, New York, N.Y.; and Norbert W. Young, Jr., FAIA, president, McGraw-Hill Construction, New York, N.Y., and member of the National Building Museum's board of trustees.