Schwartz, Frederic

views updated


SCHWARTZ, FREDERIC (1951– ), U.S. architect, founder of Frederic Schwartz Architects. Born in New York, Schwartz worked in the city for over 22 years, won many prizes, and lectured to university audiences all over the world. He earned his A.B. Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1973 and his Master of Architecture from the Harvard School of Design in 1978. Among his many awards were the Rome Prize in Architecture (1995); Deutsch Inc. Decade of Design Competition; and a National Endowment for the Arts Design Fellowship in 1983. His drawings and designs were seen in over 50 exhibitions from the Paris Biennale des Beaux Arts in 1982 to the Venice Biennale in 1992 and were included in the Avery Library, Columbia University permanent collection. Schwartz Architects won the revised contract for the construction of the $315 million Whitehall Ferry Terminal building in New York. Opened in 2005, the terminal was designed to accommodate 70,000 people a day commuting from Staten Island. The plans called for a 200,000-square-foot glass and steel building with an open feeling so that people can feel they are already on the water, and also includes a roof deck for viewing Lower Manhattan, the upper harbor, and Governor's Island. Schwartz was the winner from among over 320 entrants in a competition to design the New Jersey memorial to those who died in the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. Outside of New York, New Jersey lost more residents (674) than any other state. The memorial was slated to be erected in Liberty State Park on the banks of the Hudson River, affording a direct view of Lower Manhattan where the Trade Center stood. Named "Empty Sky," the title of a song by New Jersey rock star Bruce Springsteen, the design calls for a pair of brushed stainless steel walls 200 feet long and 30 feet high, the footprint of the vanished towers. The names of the victims are to be etched on the walls in random fashion. A paved blue-stone path runs between the walls. Space for visitors to express their grief by leaving items at the base of the walls are meant to personalize sorrow in contrast to the cold steel. The area is to be surrounded by a grove of dogwood trees. Schwartz was a runner-up with architect Rafael Viñoly in the competition to design a master plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site. As a keynote speaker at a conference on Business Geography and Human Conditions, Schwartz described his vision of the rebuilt World Trade Center as a world cultural center. The towers would be the tallest structures in the world, but not containing offices, with a spectacular outdoor amphitheater 20 floors up.

[Betty R. Rubenstein (2nd ed.)]