Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (born December 20, 1950 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) is an American architect and urban planner of Polish-Livonian aristocratic roots based in Miami, Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton and her master's degree in architecture from the Yale School of Architecture.
In 1977, Plater-Zyberk was co-founder of the Miami firm Arquitectonica with her husband Andrés Duany, Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Laurinda Hope Spear, and Hervin Romney. Arquitectonica became famous for its signature style: a dramatic, expressive "high-tech" modernism. The firm's Atlantis Condominium was featured prominently in the opening credits of Miami Vice.
Duany and Plater-Zyberk founded Duany Plater Zyberk & Company (DPZ) in 1980, with its headquarters in Miami. DPZ became a leader in the national movement called the New Urbanism and distinguished itself by designing traditional towns and retrofitting into existing suburbs into livable downtowns. The firm first received international recognition in the 1980s as the designer of Seaside, Florida, and has completed designs and codes for over two hundred new towns, regional plans, and community revitalization projects.
Plater-Zyberk began teaching at the University of Miami School of Architecture in 1979, starting what became a long and successful association. Having created a graduate program in Suburb and Town Design in 1988, she continued to explore contemporary issues in city growth and reconstruction with students and faculty. She has been dean of the university's School of Architecture since 1995, and as dean she hired the architect Léon Krier to design his first public building in Florida for the school of architecture (his only other buildings in America are his former house at Seaside and a meeting hall in the Duany Plater-Zyberk resort of Windsor). She has also served as director of the university's Center for Urban Community and Design, organizing and promoting numerous design exercises to the benefit of communities throughout South Florida. In the Fall of 2008, Plater-Zyberk was tapped into Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest Honor attained at the University of Miami. In 2014, she was awarded the Arts & Culture Award by the Coral Gables Community Foundation.
For ten years, Plater-Zyberk was a Trustee of Princeton University, where she chaired the university's Building Committee during an active period of building and expansion. Architects hired during her tenure on the Building Committee included Princeton graduate Robert Venturi, internationally famous Frank Gehry, and the traditional architect Demetri Porphyrios. Porphyrios designed the Collegiate Gothic Whitman College, the first in a series of new Gothic buildings to be built in the historic center of the university.
Plater-Zyberk is a founder and emeritus board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, which was established in 1993. She has been a visiting professor at many major North American schools of architecture, has been awarded several honorary doctorates and awards, and lectures frequently. In 2001, she and Duany were awarded the Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum in recognition of their contributions to the American built environment. In 2008, she was appointed to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Her recent books include The New Civic Art and Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.
- Duany, Andrés, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (2000). Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-606-3
- Duany, Andrés, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Robert Alminana (2003). The New Civic Art: Elements of Town Planning. New York: Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-2186-2
- Lombard, Joanna (2005). The Architecture of Duany Plater-Zyberk and Company. New York: Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-2600-7
- Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 552.
- Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company
- University of Miami School of Architecture
- Congress for the New Urbanism
- PDF of Miami SoA
- on YouTube at the Driehaus Prize ceremony