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John Burgee

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John Burgee
Burgee in 1977
Born (1933-08-28) August 28, 1933 (age 90)
Chicago, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
BuildingsSony Building (New York)
The Sony Building in New York City, formerly AT&T World Headquarters

John Burgee (born August 28, 1933) is an American architect noted for his contributions to Postmodern architecture. He was a partner of Philip Johnson from 1967[1] to 1991, creating together the partnership firm Johnson/Burgee Architects. Their landmark collaborations included Pennzoil Place in Houston and the AT&T World Headquarters in New York. Burgee eased Johnson out of the firm in 1991, and when it subsequently went bankrupt, Burgee's design career was essentially over.[1] Burgee is retired, and resides in California.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Burgee graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in 1956, and served on the university's Board of Trustees from 1988 until 2006, when he was named trustee emeritus, and on the School of Architecture's Advisory Council from 1982. He also served on the boards of the Architectural League of New York, Lenox Hill Hospital, Columbia University's Master of Sciences Program in Real Estate Development, the Parsons School of Design, and the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District, and was the co-chairman of the Architectural Committee of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial Commission. For the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, Burgee was president and chairman.[3]

Johnson/Burgee Architects[edit]

Comerica Tower in Detroit.

John Burgee and Philip Johnson established Johnson/Burgee in Manhattan in 1968, with Burgee as the firm's CEO, and they collaborated on many designs. In 1984, Raj Ahuja, who had been an associate with the firm for 15 years, was made a full partner. Two years later, they moved into the Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue, between 53rd and 54th Streets, which the firm had designed. That same year, Burgee negotiated a lesser role in the partnership for Johnson, as a design consultant, and in 1988 he asked Ahuja to leave. Completing the transformation of the firm, in 1991 Johnson left altogether, at Burgee's behest. Shortly thereafter, the firm went into bankruptcy because of an arbitration connected to Ahuja's leaving, and Burgee's career was dealt a serious blow.[1][2]

Their collaborations include:

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1978: AIA Award for Pennzoil Place
  • 1983: Honorary Doctorate in Engineering, University of Notre Dame
  • 1984: Chicago Architecture Award, Illinois Council of the AIA (first recipient)
  • 2004: Orlando T. Maione Award for distinguished contributions to the Notre Dame School of Architecture[15]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c Goldberger, Paul. "Philip Johnson Is Dead at 98; Architecture's Restless Intellect" New York Times (January 27, 2005)
  2. ^ a b Pogrebin, Robin. "The Hand of a Master Architect" New York Times (August 8, 2010)
  3. ^ "John Burgee" on the Institute for Sacred Architecture website. Accessed:2011-01-29
  4. ^ Brozan, Nadine. "The Changing Landscape of Roosevelt Island" New York Times (December 4, 2005)
  5. ^ White et al., p.301
  6. ^ White et al., p.880
  7. ^ Lang, p. 89. "The Nariman Point area of Mumbai has become the city's new Central Business District. It contains a prestigious core area and a more crowded area of standard office buildings with somewhat differing façades. The former contains the Air India Building designed by John Burgee (b. 1933) of Johnson/Burgee in New York"
  8. ^ Pogrebin, Robin. "Philharmonic To Give Home A New Interior" New York Times (May 20, 2004)
  9. ^ White et al., p.452
  10. ^ White et al., p.334
  11. ^ White, et al., p.38
  12. ^ White et al., p.347
  13. ^ "190 South La Salle Street" Archived October 27, 2020, at the Wayback Machine on Chicago Architecture Info website
  14. ^ White et al., p.330
  15. ^ John Burgee - 2004 Orlando T. Maione Award


  • Lang, Jon T. Concise History of Modern Architecture: in India. Orient Blackswan, August 1, 2002. ISBN 8178240173, 9788178240176.
  • White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.

External links[edit]