R. Allen Eskew, FAIA will be known – always – as a visionary leader of the New Orleans’ architectural community. Many will remember him for his built works and endless contributions to the civic and social fabric of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region. Others will simply remember his warmth, humor and generosity. Allen was passionate about architecture, dedicated to humane urbanism, gracious, generous, warm, and open to new ideas and opportunities that could advance the School of Architecture and the New Orleans community.
Allen earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California Berkeley following a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Louisiana State University. He moved to New Orleans early in his career and, after a number of professional affiliations, he led the creation of the firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. The firm has received national recognition for design excellence as well as for their significant contributions to civic engagement and the public good. Allen died on December 13th, 2013 – two days before the practice he founded was awarded the 2014 Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor the American Institute of Architects bestows upon an architecture firm. This award transcends individual project accomplishments, recognizing one architectural practice every year for sustained design excellence and extraordinary contributions to the profession and broader society.
A fundamental part of Allen’s vision for community engagement included the Tulane School of Architecture. Not only did Allen teach a highly successful course himself on New Orleans Urbanism, he also supported the involvement of numerous staff architects and partners in their own teaching roles. Years ago, the firm established the Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Lecture Series at Tulane’s School of Architecture. Through the firm’s generous support, the University has attracted many notable architects such as Rafael Moneo Hon. FAIA, Thom Mayne FAIA, James Timberlake FAIA, and Tom Kundig, FAIA among others. To honor his legacy and his contributions to the School, the Lecture Series will now be held in his honor: The R. Allen Eskew Memorial Lecture Series.
Allen bridged communities through the power design, and it is befitting that the first lecturer in the series is Marlon Blackwell, FAIA. One of the nation’s most respected regional modernist architects and recipient of numerous awards for design excellence, his Fayetteville, Arkansas–based practice, Marlon Blackwell Architects, combines vernacular traditions with rigorous formalism to create architecture that responds to the physical and cultural eccentricities of a place. In addition to his professional practice, Blackwell serves as the E. Fay Jones Distinguished Professor at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas. In 2015, Marlon was named as one of Design Intelligence magazine’s “30 Most Admired Educators” and has recently been announced as the recipient of the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture.
This is a special event for the Tulane School of Architecture community, for Allen’s family, for Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, and for all that knew and loved Allen.
Monday, September 19, 2016 - 6:00pm
Tulane School of Architecture
Room 201 Richardson Memorial Hall (Thomson Hall)
A reception will be held prior to the lecture in the Favrot Lobby at 5pm.
This event is free and open to the public.