Peter Pennoyer

2024 Laureate

Peter Pennoyer headshot in suit

In honor of his commitment to classical architecture, along with his contributions to preservation, urbanism and historiography, Peter Pennoyer is the recipient of the 2024 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame.

Peter Pennoyer’s creative spirit is rooted in tradition. His work as an architect reflects a deep understanding of history that resonates through every one of his books and buildings. His projects are designed with extraordinary compositional care, and are constructed with the highest degree of craftsmanship, down to the last detail.

Pennoyer’s visionary work has illustrated how the classical ideas of architecture provide an inexhaustible source for inspiration and invention. His body of work consistently demonstrates his ability to design beautiful and durable buildings with a nuanced elegance that moves the spirit of all who experience them.


Jury Citation

Peter Pennoyer's contribution to Traditional Architecture has been seminal. His design work is engaged in both the recovery and the renewal of tradition. Individual projects are restrained in scale and proportion, harmonious in form and distinct in materiality exhibiting a sense of decorum. Every one of his buildings—whether set in the city or in the countryside—enhances the natural character of their sites.

Beginning at a time when few contemporaries shared similar interests, Peter Pennoyer’s design skills were honed in a scholarly residential architecture. His practice has evolved to include apartment buildings, institutional and commercial interiors, which are unmatched in their form and details–beautiful, imaginative and discreet–belying the great effort such excellence requires. Developed during the past 30 years, Peter Pennoyer’s practice employs multiple partners and many younger architects who continue to bring his ideas and designs to life.

His commitment to sharing his knowledge and experience with his contemporaries extends to a broad spectrum of civic engagement. This ranges from thoroughly researched counterprojects for important development proposals in New York City, including the Hudson Rail Yards in 2004, and the New York Public Library in 2014, to guiding, as a board member with organizations such as the New York Municipal Art Society, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) and the USGSA’s Design Excellence Program.

The broad range of precedents from classical and vernacular traditions that underpin the work of Pennoyer and his firm are explored in his books, many of which he and Anne Walker, preservationist and historian, have authored together. These books document the work of Harrie T. Lindeberg, Cross and Cross, Grosvenor Atterbury, Warren and Wetmore, and Delano and Aldrich and are an inspiration to Peter, Anne and their colleagues in the ongoing work of their practice. His books are also guiding a generation of architects honoring the continuity that comes from practicing classicism as a living language capable of artistic expression and innovation.

The combination of excellence in the practice of architecture, urbanist advocacy, civic engagement, academic research and publication has elevated Pennoyer to the highest echelon among his contemporaries.