AAF And French Heritage Society Announce 2012 Hunt Fellow

Paris-based architect Elsa Ricaud has been selected as the 2012 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow and will begin her program of study July 2012. Her interest lies in the preservation and maintenance of North American earthen architecture, and she will also study the contemporary application of earthen materials to new buildings and structures. Beginning in Washington, D.C., Elsa will visit federal and local preservation agencies as a precursor to a study tour that will take her across the country. She plans to survey pre-Columbian earthen heritage sites in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River valleys as well as pueblo and earthen heritage sites in the Four Corners region. On the East Coast and in the Southeast, she will participate in several seminars on earthen building construction techniques to gain some hands-on experience. Along the way, she plans to document the contemporary use of earthen modern architecture techniques by Frank Lloyd Wright, Hassan Fathy, and other mid-20th-century architects.

From L to R: Ron Bogle, AAF President and CEO; Philippe Belaval, Directeur General Des Patrimoines Conseiller D’Etat; Elsa Ricaud, 2012 Richard Morris Hunt Fellow; Michèle le Menestrel-Ullrich, Founding President, French Heritage Society

Elsa currently serves as project leader in charge of documentation and restoration at the Grand Palais in Paris with the Architectes en Chef des Monument Historiques. Concurrent with her Richard Morris Hunt Prize, she will work with CRAterre, an international center for earthen architecture, to research earthen landmarks in Grenoble, France, and the US.

For the full list of Richard Morris Hunt Fellows, click here.


Photo of the Hassan Fathy-designed Dar-Ul-Islam Mosque in New Mexico courtesy of Omar Bárcena.

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Posted in: News, Preservation, Print, Richard Morris Hunt Prize

The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.