Hugh Newell Jacobsen

Architect / United States / Jacobsen Architecture

Hugh Newell Jacobsen, F.A.I.A., has practiced architecture under his own name since 1958. His projects have been built and published worldwide, winning 114 awards for excellence in design. Among these are six National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and 20 awards for excellence in house design from the professional journal Architectural Record.

Jacobsen received an M. Arch. in 1955 from Yale University School of Architecture. He received a Certificate from the Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London, in 1954 and a B. A., from the University of Maryland in 1951. After finishing his formal education, Jacobsen worked in New Canaan, Connecticut, for Philip Johnson. In 1958 he began the practice of architecture under his own name in Washington, D.C. Among the many buildings he has designed since that time are libraries for the American College of Greece (Athens) and Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania); two museums for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.—The Renwick Gallery and The Arts and Industries Building; an addition to the U.S. Capitol; the Riggs Alumni Center for the University of Maryland (he completed a similar program for the University of Michigan previously) and two additional museums: the Southern Vermont Arts Center (Manchester), and the Lester Wing of the Fred C. Jones Art Center (Norman, Oklahoma). Along with these endeavors he has continuously been closely associated with an unbroken string of skillfully designed and executed residential commissions, including the Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, home of Jacqueline Onassis.

A monograph on his work, entitled Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect, with an introduction by Vincent Scully and designed by Massimo Vignelli, was published in 1988. Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect: Recent Work, with an introduction by Stanley Tigerman and also designed by Massimo Vignelli, was published in 1994. Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect: 1993–2006, with an introduction by Paul Goldberger, was published by Rizzoli in 2007.  

Jacobsen has been a juror for over 50 AIA awards programs and many design competitions. He lectures extensively throughout this country and abroad. In 1970 he was visiting Professor for the Arts and Humanities at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and in 1971 he delivered the Kennedy Memorial Fellowship lectures at four New Zealand universities. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Hassan Fathy Institute and a member of the National Advisory Board of the International Masonry Institute.

Jacobsen has written articles for various magazines, including Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, The New Republic, and House and Garden. He contributes periodically to the Washington Post on urban design. He is the editor of A Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C., published by Praeger (1965).

Appointed by the mayor of Washington, D.C., Hugh Newell Jacobsen served from 1976 to 1982 as a member of the Joint Committee on Landmarks for the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. Jacobsen has also served as a consultant to both the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Historic Savannah Foundation. He served on the Advisory Committee of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown and was a member of the Board of Governors, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1968–1973; Trustee of the Corcoran Gallery, 1973–1981; Trustee of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1965–1969; Trustee of the Washington Theatre Club, 1965–1972; and a member of the President's Commission on Alumni Affairs for Yale University, 1970. He is a member of the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.; the Yale Club of New York City; and the Century Association, New York.

In 1971, Jacobsen became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and in 1992 he was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design. He is the recipient of the Washington Chapter/AIA Centennial Award for 1996. He was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by the University of Maryland in 1993 and the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Gettysburg College in 1974 and by Bradford College in 1990. He received the national Tau Sigma Delta Silver Medal for Distinction in Design in 1981. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Fellowship was awarded by the New Zealand Government in 1971. The Lab School of Washington, D.C., presented Jacobsen an Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever Award in 1990.

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