School to host lectures by National Veterans Resource Complex design finalists Dykers, Sharples, Adjaye

As part of its spring 2016 lecture lineup,  Syracuse Architecture will host a series of lectures by principals and founders of the three firms recently chosen as finalists to design the future National Veterans Resource Complex (NVRC) at Syracuse University.

A competition was launched by Syracuse University in December to identify a world-class partner to conceptualize, design and construct the new NVRC. Each of these internationally renowned firms is also on the shortlist of finalists vying to design the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago.

Craig Dykers (Snøhetta) will lecture at Syracuse Architecture on Tuesday, March 22; William Sharples (SHoP) on Thursday, March 31; and David Adjaye (Adjaye Associates) on Thursday, April 7. Lectures are free and open to the public. Each will begin at 6 p.m. in Slocum Hall Auditorium and be followed by a reception in the Slocum Hall first-floor atrium. American Sign Language (ASL) and Communication Access Real Time (CART) interpretation will be provided.

The Dykers, Sharples and Adjaye lectures will focus on architectural viewpoints and a range of work from each firm; NVRC design proposals will not be presented or discussed at this time. In late April, each firm will return to Syracuse to make its presentation to the competition selection committee. The winner will be announced to the public in May.

“We’re thrilled to host these three lectures at the school,” says Dean Michael Speaks. “This is an incredible opportunity for our students and the greater Syracuse community to hear three world-class architects present their work. More importantly, one of these architects will be selected later this year to design the NVRC, a remarkable, one-of-a-kind national center for U.S. military veterans and the first building to result from the University Campus Framework plan.”

Dykers was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and has lived extensively in both Europe and North America. He co-founded architecture, landscape and interior design company Snøhetta in Oslo, Norway, in 1989 and in New York City in 2004. The firm’s work is characterized as having a presence that resonates with its surrounding context. The firm has won numerous international awards and widespread recognition, including the Mies van der Rohe European Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the World Architecture Award for Best Cultural Building and the Aga Kahn Prize. Prominent projects include the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York City, the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Norwegian National Opera and ballet in Oslo, Norway. Dykers is currently leading the design of the San Francisco MoMA expansion and the Times Square reconstruction in New York City.

Since 1996, SHoP has modeled a new way forward with its unconventional approach to design. At the heart of the firm’s method is a willingness to question accepted patterns of practice, coupled with the courage to expand, where necessary, beyond the architect’s traditional roles. Founding partner Sharples has been at the center of this collaborative practice for 20 years, leading educational projects and technology initiatives across the studio. Sharples has served as lead partner on many of SHoP’s most prominent projects, including the Botswana Innovation Hub, Google Headquarters Offices, the New Academic Building at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the award-winning Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. Beyond the studio, Sharples is a powerful advocate for the role of contemporary technologies as tools to promote humanist values through design.

Adjaye is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities. In 1994, he set up his first office, where he became known as an architect with artistic sensibility and vision. Re-established in 2000 as Adjaye Associates—with offices now in London, New York City and Accra, Ghana—Adjaye has won several prestigious commissions, including the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, and two public libraries in Washington, D.C. In 2009, a team led by Adjaye was selected to design the $360 million Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall.

The Dykers, Sharples and Adjaye architecture lectures will be videotaped and posted online at the School of Architecture website at, the Syracuse Architecture YouTube channel and also on the National Veterans Resource Complex website at (by Elaine Wackerow)