New York–based honor society the American Academy of Arts and Letters announced this week the 2023 recipients of its annual architecture awards program, which first commenced in 1955 with the bestowal of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize to Gordon Bunshaft. In the decades since, the program has grown beyond the flagship Brunner Prize—a $20,000 award presented to an architect of any nationality who has made a “significant contribution to architecture as an art”—to also include four Arts and Letters Awards. This quartet of $10,000 cash prizes are awarded by the Academy to American architects creating works “characterized by a strong personal direction” and to Americans who “explore ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.”  

Three (sometimes two) awards are presented in the first category while one (sometimes two) is presented in the latter category as is the case with the just-revealed 2023 iteration. This year’s winning architects are:  

  • Sean Canty, founder of Studio Sean Canty, co-founder of architectural collective Office III, and assistant professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design;
  • Roberto de Leon and Ross Primmer, founding principals of Louisville, Kentucky­­–based practice de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop;
  • Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, co-founders of New York–based architecture and design firm WORKac.

 As for the fourth 2023 Arts and Letters Award in Architecture recipient, the honor goes to Fred Bernstein, an architecture critic, journalist, and longtime contributing editor at RECORD

This year’s top award, the Brunner Prize, goes to W. G. Clark, the Edmund Schureman Campbell Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

This 2023 awardees are in fine company with recent winners including Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon, Jonathan TateWalter Hood, the late Kevin Lippert, and Carme Pinós and Marina Tabassum, recipients of the 2021 and 2022 Brunner Prize, respectively. 

The 2023 winners were chosen from a group of 36 individuals and practices nominated by members of the Academy. The award jurors were chair Toshiko Mori, Deborah Berke, Marlon Blackwell, Steven Holl, Annabelle Selldorf, Billie Tsien, Tod Williams, Meejin Yoon, and 2020 Brunner Prize winner Nader Tehrani.

Additionally, last month the Academy announced its 19 newly inducted members for 2023 (plus four honorary members), a cohort that includes architects Michael Maltzan and Merrill Elam along with planner Maurice Cox, commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.