Mayne, Thom

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Thom Mayne, 1944–, American architect, b. Waterbury, Conn., grad. Univ. of Southern California (B.A., 1968), Harvard (M.A., 1978). In 1972 Mayne cofounded the firm Morphosis in Santa Monica, Calif., where he is still principal. That year he also was a founder of the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture. Mayne has achieved a reputation as a brilliant architectural maverick for the wide variety of public buildings he has designed in the United States and abroad. Elements that often characterize his work include unconventional angular and jutting forms; double skins of glass and perforated metal; inventive use of natural and artificial light; innovative façades and curving walls; and elevators that skip floors. The Diamond Ranch High School (1999), a bold, angular, cantilevered set of structures of glass, concrete, and corrugated metal on a California hillside, is often regarded as his breakthrough project. Among his other projects are the Sun Tower, Seoul, South Korea (1997); the Hypo Alpe-Adria Center, Klagenfurt, Austria (2002); the Caltrans District 7 building, Los Angeles (2004); the federal courthouse, Eugene, Oreg. (2006); the federal office building, San Francisco (2006); and the academic building at Cooper Union, New York City (2009). The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas, Tex. (2012), exemplifies the bold, inventive Mayne/Morphosis style: A five-story, nearly windowless cube faced with textured concrete, it is split open at one corner to create a facade and atrium faced with glass and steel; the sides of the cube appear held together outside by a 150-ft-long (46-m) glass-enclosed diagonal "brace" that in part contains an escalator. Mayne, who has taught at Univ. of California, Los Angeles since 1993, was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2005 and the AIA Gold Medal in 2012.

See his Morphosis (2003).