Friedrich St. Florian

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Friedrich St.Florian (born 1932) is an Austrian-American architect. He was born Friedrich St.Florian Gartler in the Austrian city of Graz. He moved to the USA in 1961, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1973.

His generation produced a famous group of Austrian avant-garde architects: Hans Hollein, Walter Pichler, Raimund Abraham. Abraham was also a classmate of St. Florian and has worked with him on multiple occasions.

Education[edit]

"When I was 10 or 11, I was a sandcastle-builder, a dam-builder. I wanted to build for the pleasure, the delight of it really was amazing."

St.Florian studied Architecture at the Graz University of Technology, where he graduated in 1960. He then won a Fulbright Fellowship which allowed him to move to the USA and study at Columbia University where he earned an additional MS.

Academic career[edit]

After teaching at Columbia University for one year, St.Florian joined the Rhode Island School of Design faculty in 1963, where he helped launch the school’s renowned European Honors Program in Rome, which he directed from 1965-67. From 1978-88 he was dean of Architectural Studies and acted as Provost for Academic Affairs from 1981-84.

He has also taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, England; the M.I.T, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, USA and the University of Utah, USA.

Professional career[edit]

Aerial view of the National World War II Memorial, designed by St.Florian

He has been a practicing architect in the United States since 1974. His work is included in numerous private collections as well as in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the M.I.T, the RISD Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France. He also won the second prize for his design (with Raimund Abraham and John Thornley) for the last of these.

With Abraham he also won the first prize (ex equo) in the international architectural design competition for the "Cultural Center" in Leopoldville, Congo in 1959 and the third prize in the 1958 competition for the Pan Arabian University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

He served as Project Architect for Providence Place, a 450 million-dollar regional retail and entertainment center located in historic downtown Providence, Rhode Island and the largest construction project ever undertaken in Rhode Island, and the Providence Skybridge, which frames the entrance to the city.

His most prestigious project as of 2004 is probably the design of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., U.S., which he won against 400 entries in 1997.

St.Florian's office is currently headquartered in downtown Providence RI, USA. He continues to work on international design competitions and a wide array of projects with Tim DeCoster. Recent built works include a highly acclaimed modernist residence in Providence's East Side and Urban Markers in Charlotte, NC. The project named "Three Pier Bridge" was designed under a new firm name "Studio Providence LLC", which is a collaboration between St.Florian's firm and 3SIX0 Architecture. The "Three Pier Bridge" tied for first place in an international competition while also winning prizes from the BSA and AIA.

He is inspired by Louis Kahn, Mies van der Rohe, le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. "Mies van der Rohe held the Chair of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago when I visited him. I felt like a pilgrim. His office was wide open, there were no doors. He was very curious to get news from Austria."

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