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Making Architecture — the work of John McAslan + Partners

October 26, 2023 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall Auditorium, 61 St. James Place, Brooklyn, NY 11238

image of the event poster, with a black and white image of an architectural structure as the backdrop.

John McAslan in conversation with Gary Hattem about his book Making Architecture,

John McAslan + Partner studio is committed to the environment but also to its transformation of significant historic buildings and pioneering social initiatives and has made a remarkable contribution to architecture, place-making and the lives of many over three decades. The work by John McAslan includes recently completed and ongoing international projects, ranging from Central and Waterloo stations in Sydney to the transformation of King’s Cross station in London; and from the sensitive repair and renewal of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, the Roundhouse, London,and The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, to the new Msheireb Mosque and nearby Msheireb Museums in Qatar. McAslan studio has become renowned for pioneering initiatives, which underline the practice’s humanity and sense of social responsibility: the urgent rebuilding of the Iron Market in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the devastating earthquake in 2010; the N17 project, which provided an innovative pop-up apprenticeship design studio in Tottenham, north London; and the ongoing Hidden Homeless initiative.

John McAslan was born in Glasgow and educated at the University of Edinburgh. He trained in Boston USA with Cambridge Seven Associates before joining Richard Rogers and Partners in London, after which he established Troughton McAslan. He founded John McAslan + Partners in 1993 where he is Executive Chair and active in all of its work across studios in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Sydney. John is particularly committed to interdisciplinary collaborations, which are a hallmark of the practice he leads. John is highly engaged in education. In 2004, together with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), he established the McAslan RIBA/ICE Bursary to support architectural and engineering students, graduates and newly-qualified architects and engineers committed to the progress of environmental and community issues in the UK or abroad. In addition, in his capacity as an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, in 2019 John established the AIA/McAslan Fellowship – a programme of annual travel bursaries for graduate architects from US universities. John McAslan + Partners’ work has been widely published internationally. It has received over 200 international design awards, including 30 RIBA National and International awards, 3 European Union prizes for cultural heritage, and the Urban Land Institute (USA) Global Award for Excellence. Additionally, the practice was honored with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2014, and again in 2022. In 2012 John McAslan was appointed Commander of the British Empire by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and also has served as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Haiti in London. In 2013 John was appointed Regent to the University of Edinburgh and the following year was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor honoris causa. In addition, John is a Fellow of numerous organizations: the Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland; the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors; the Royal Society of Arts; the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is also an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Gary Hattem is chair of Pratt Institute’s board of trustees and is a graduate of the School of Architecture’s masters program in City and Regional Planning. Upon graduation from Pratt, Gary led the St. Nicholas Alliance, a first generation community development corporation, which continues to be an innovative force in the production of housing, jobs and educational opportunities for low-income families in North Brooklyn. He is a former managing director of Deutsche Bank having founded and head-ed up the bank’s Global Social Finance Group which placed more than $1 billion in microfinance, affordable housing, health care and renewable energy projects benefiting the poor throughout the US and the developing world. He also served as president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. Presently, Gary advises nonprofit organizations and social enterprises and is a co-founder and managing director of the Cultural Heritage Finance Alliance (CHiFA) and a trustee of the Romanian American Foundation. He volunteers his time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in New York City’s foster care system.