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A Profile of Robert A.M. Stern

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Since his birth in 1939, architect Robert A.M. Stern has left an indelible mark on the world of architecture. The prolific Brooklyn-born architect began his architectural career in his native city, first studying at Columbia University before graduating with a Master’s Degree in architecture from Yale University at the age of 26.

Upon graduation from Yale, Stern decamped for his native New York, where he held a curatorial position at the Architectural League of New York for a year before leaving to study under Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, the man behind the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, City Tower in Prague, and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. Just a few years later, at age 34, Stern took what he had learned studying under the medium’s masters and founded his eponymous company, which he’s still at the helm of today.

While Stern’s early efforts are nothing short of majestic, with buildings like the Nashville Public Library, the Miami Beach Library, and the Spangler Campus Center at Harvard Business School in Boston, it’s his later architecture that truly stands out among the pack. Recently, in his home city, Stern has been the driving force behind The Belnord, an Upper West Side luxury building that harkens back to a gilded age of elegant architecture. Occupying a full city block and offering homes ranging in size from two to five bedrooms, this 13-story turn-of-the-century jewel, originally built in 1908, has been transformed into a modern paradise, featuring a porte cochère, a landscaped central courtyard, and countless interior amenities. Of course, in traditional Stern fashion, the building’s architectural character—the same character that aided in it winning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places–has been left largely unchanged, as ornate as the day it was completed over a century ago.

However, it’s not only Stern’s native city that has enjoyed the architect’s handiwork in recent years; in Chicago, Stern is the visionary behind One Bennett Park, one of the city’s most buzzed-about building’s in recent history. The East Grand Avenue luxury tower, which will soon be the city’s tallest residential building, is a testament to Stern’s commitment to building the best in ultra-luxury homes. Each residence averages 3,200 square feet, with stunning views of both Lake Michigan and Bennett Park to enjoy. While Stern clearly has his plate full as it is, the 78-year-old starchitect shows no signs of slowing down soon. In addition to his prolific portfolio, Stern has maintained his role as Dean of Yale’s School of Architecture, a position he’s held for 19 years, and one that clearly keeps him abreast of the latest trends in architectural design.

Over the better part of a century, Robert A.M. Stern has proven himself one of the most talented and influential names in architecture. While his style has evolved, his commitment to timeless elegance and craftsmanship has never waned, as stunning buildings like One Bennett Park and The Belnord have made clear. Whether in his native city or across the world, Stern’s signature style has indelibly improved the world’s architectural landscape, one building at a time.  

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