Witold Rybczynski

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Witold Rybczynski
Born 1 March 1943 (1943-03) (age 74)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Nationality Canadian-American
Alma mater McGill University
Occupation Architect
Awards J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize (2000)
Vincent Scully Prize (2007)

Witold Rybczynski (born 1 March 1943, in Edinburgh, Scotland), is a Canadian-American architect, professor and writer.

Early life[edit]

Rybczynski was born in Edinburgh of Polish parentage and raised in Surrey, England before moving at a young age to Canada. He attended Loyola High School in Montreal. He received Bachelor of Architecture (1966) and Master of Architecture (1972) degrees from McGill University in Montreal.


Rybczynski has written more than 300 articles and papers on the subjects of housing, architecture, and technology, many of which are aimed at a non-technical readership. His work has been published in a wide variety of magazines, including The Wilson Quarterly, The Atlantic Monthly, and The New Yorker.[1] From 2004 to 2010, he was architecture critic for Slate.[2]

He taught at McGill University (1974–1993) and the University of Pennsylvania (1993–2012), and served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 2004 to 2012.[3] He now lives in Philadelphia and is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

Rybczynski's book Home: A Short History of an Idea was nominated for the 1986 Governor General's Award for non-fiction, and A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and North America in the Nineteenth Century won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize[5] and was short-listed for the Charles Taylor Prize in 2000.

In 2007 Rybczynski was the recipient of the Seaside Prize and the Vincent Scully Prize, awarded by the National Building Museum. Rybczynski is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council.[6] In 2014 he received a National Design Award for Design Mind from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

Rybczynski is an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He has received the AIA Collaborative Honors, and the Pennsylvania AIA President's Award. He holds honorary doctorates from McGill University and the University of Western Ontario.


External video
Booknotes interview with Rybczynski on A Clearing in the Distance, 17 October 1999, C-SPAN
Presentation by Rybczynski on A Clearing in the Distance, 12 May 1999, C-SPAN
Presentation by Rybczynski on One Good Turn, 13 September 2000, C-SPAN

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Authors: Witold Rybczynski". The Atlantic. 
  2. ^ "Authors: Witold Rybczynski". Slate. 
  3. ^ 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. 554.
  4. ^ "Martin and Margy Meyerson Professor Emeritus of Urbanisml=http://www.design.upenn.edu/people/rybczynski_witold". University of Pennsylvania. 
  5. ^ "J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project winners". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Design Futures Council Senior Fellows"
  7. ^ "Book Review, Starred". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 

External links[edit]