The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, announced that Miami-based architect and urban planning firm Oppenheim Architecture has been selected as the 2023 Laureate of The American Prize for Architecture, the prestigious award that is regarded internationally as the highest honor for architecture in the United States.

Oppenheim Architecture’s built works, spanning over two decades, are expansive in typology and geography, including works ranging from cultural and hospitality buildings to residences and urban master planning throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.

“Subtle, powerful, elegant and deeply romantic,” stated Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, architecture critic and museum president/CEO of The Chicago Athenaeum. “Chad Oppenheim is a prolific American architect who is radical in his restraint, demonstrating his reverence for history and culture, as well as time and space, while honoring the pre-existing built and natural environments as he reimagines a more beautiful and poetic world with modern, meaningful buildings that relate to their context and reinvigorates the landscape and places in which his designs exits.”

Established in 1994, The American Prize for Architecture, also known as The Louis H. Sullivan Award, is given to an outstanding office and/or practitioner in the United States that has emblazoned a new direction in the history of American architecture with talent, vision and commitment and has demonstrated consistent contributions to humanity through the built environment and through the art of architecture.

The award, organized jointly by two public institutions, The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, honors American architects as well as other global architects practicing on multiple continents, whose body of architectural work, over time, exemplifies superior design and humanist ideals.

The American Prize for Architecture pays tribute to the spirit of the founder of modernism, Louis Sullivan, and the subsequent generations of Chicago practitioners, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel H. Burnham and Holabird & Root. It also globally broadcasts the significant contributions of America’s rich and inspiring architecture practice and its living legacy to the world at large.

Previous laureates include Sir Norman Foster, Michael Graves, the General Services Administration, Richard Meier, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Form4Architecture, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC., Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear of the Miami-based firm Arquitectonica, Eric Owen Moss and Victor F. “Trey” Trahan of Trahan Architects APAC.

The 2022 prize was given to SHoP Architects.

Oppenheim Architecture, established in 1999 by Chad Oppenheim, exemplified the principles of the award. With studios in Miami and Basel, Switzerland, the inquisitive team of 40 architects, interior designers, planners, dreamers and technicians demonstrated how their ideology and philosophy of spirit of place is at the core of their operations. The two studios operate as one, guided by poetically contextual design, hyper-functionality and building craft.

The official ceremony for The American Prize for Architecture was held on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at a gala reception/dinner at the Arts Club of Chicago and also honored the recipients of the 2023 American Architecture Awards.