Jorge Silvetti

Architect; Urban Designer / United States / Machado and Silvetti Associates

Jorge Silvetti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he received his diploma in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires. He continued studies at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving his Master of Architecture degree and pursuing postgraduate work in the area of architectural theory and criticism. Silvetti’s architectural practice with Rodolfo Machado began in 1974. Their firm, Machado and Silvetti Associates, was incorporated in 1985. An architecture and urban design firm known for distinctive spaces and unique works of architecture in the United States and abroad, Machado and Silvetti Associates has completed projects of diverse size and scope.

Notable office projects in which Jorge Silvetti served as design principal include, among others: the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library; the adaptive reuse of the Rockefeller Stone Barns in upstate New York; an addition to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; the expansion of the Bowdoin College Art Museum in Brunswick, Maine; and the Getty Villa, a center for the study and conservation of classical art in Malibu, California. Ongoing projects include the Menokin Exhibition and Conservation Center in Warsaw, Virginia, as well as the restoration, adaptive reuse, and expansion of the historic former home of the Parrish Art Museum to house The Southampton Center, a multidisciplinary performing arts facility for the Village of Southampton, New York.

Machado and Silvetti Associates has received three National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects: a 1993 award in architecture for the Princeton University Parking Structure, a 1998 urban design award for Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park, and a 2003 award in architecture for the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library. The firm has also received ten Progressive Architecture awards, nineteen Boston Society of Architects awards, including the 2003 Harleston Parker Medal, and sixteen awards from the New England chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Notably, Machado and Silvetti Associates was the first firm to receive the Award in Architecture given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Three monographs have been produced on the work of the office: Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti: Buildings for Cities (1989), Casas 40: Rodolfo Machado & Jorge Silvetti (1995), and Unprecedented Realism: The Architecture of Machado and Silvetti (1995).

Since 1975, Silvetti has taught architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he became Professor of Architecture in Design and Design Theory in 1983, was Director of the Master of Architecture program from 1985 to 1989, and was named Nelson Robinson, Jr. Professor of Architecture in 1990. From 1995 to 2002, he chaired the Department of Architecture at Harvard, where he continues to teach. He also has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Carnegie-Mellon University, the Polytechnic Institute of Zurich, the University of Palermo, Sicily, and Nihon University, Tokyo.

In addition to his architectural practice and teaching responsibilities, Jorge Silvetti served as a juror for the Pritzker Architectural Prize from 1996 to 2004 and regularly serves on juries for architectural competitions and awards. He was the first person to receive Progressive Architecture awards in all three categories of architecture, urban design, and research. He was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome for the year 1985–86. Silvetti’s writings have appeared in numerous architectural and urban design magazines, including Oppositions, Controspazio, Daidalos, Metamorfosi, Harvard Architectural Review, and Assemblage. With Conrad Ello, Silvetti is the author of La Nueva Villa Getty (2013, General de Ediciones de Arquitectura, in Spanish), an examination of the process of design and construction of the new Getty Villa.

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