Hugh Newell Jacobsen has practiced architecture under his own name since 1958. His projects have been built and published world wide, winning one hundred fourteen awards for excellence in design. Among these are six National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and 20 awards for excellence in house design from the professional journal Architectural Record.
"For most architects, the house is the beginning point of their practice, then they gradually move onto larger and larger and more expensive projects. This is not the case with Hugh Newell Jacobsen, whose name has become synonymous with beautifully designed houses as a mainstay of a practice that is hardly second tier."
After graduating from Yale’s School of Architecture with a M.Arch and a short apprenticeship with Philip Johnson he started out and maintained a small and efficient office ranging from six to twelve professionals. "Jacobsen has designed larger buildings in the 4 decades of his endeavors. The Libraries for the American Colleges of Greece (Athens), Gettysburg College (Penn), two museums for the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., The Renwick Gallery, The Arts and Industries Building and addition to the U.S. Capitol. He is currently overseeing the construction of the Alumni Center for the University of Maryland (he completed a similar program for the University of Michigan previously) and two additional museums: the Southern Vermont Arts Center (Manchester), and the Lester Wing of the Fred C. Jones Art Center (Norman, Oklahoma). Along with the above he has continuously been closely associated with an unbroken string of skillfully designed and executed residential commissions.
B. Arch., M. Arch. 1955, Yale University
Architectural Association, School of Architecture Certificate, London, 1954
B. A., University of Maryland, 1951
After finishing his formal education, Mr. Jacobsen worked in New Canaan, Connecticut for Philip Johnson. In 1958 he began the practice of architecture under his own name in Washington. The buildings he has designed since that time have earned one hundred ten awards for design. Among these are six National Honor Awards of the American Institute of Architects, the highest award for architectural design given in the United States. Each year the professional journal Architectural Record selects fifteen of the best new houses in the United States. Mr. Jacobsen has won this award twenty times. A monograph entitled Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect, with an introduction by Vincent Scully and designed by Massimo Vignelli, was published in 1988. A second volume, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Architect, Recent Work, with an introduction by Stanley Tigerman and also designed by Masimo Vignelli, was published in January 1994.
Mr. Jacobsen has been a juror for over 50 AIA awards programs and many design competitions. He lectures extensively throughout this country and abroad. In 1970 he was visiting Professor for the Arts and Humanities at the American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt and in 1971 he delivered the Kennedy Memorial Fellowship lectures at four New Zealand universities. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Hassan Fathy Institute and a member of the National Advisory Board of the International Masonry Institute. Mr. Jacobsen has written articles for various magazines, including Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, the New Republic and House and Garden. He contributes periodically to the Washington Post on urban design. He was the editor of A Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C., published by Praeger, 1965.
CIVIC ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIPS:
Appointed by the Mayor of Washington, Mr. Jacobsen served from 1976 to 1982 as a member of the Joint Committee on Landmarks for the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. Mr. Jacobsen has also served as a consultant to both the Historic Charleston Foundation and the Historic Savannah Foundation. He served on the Advisory Committee of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Georgetown and was a member of the Board of Governors, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1968-1973; Trustee of the Corcoran Gallery, 1973-1981; Trustee of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1965-1969; Trustee of the Washington Theatre Club, 1965-1972; and a member of the President's Commission on Alumni Affairs for Yale University, 1970. He is a member of the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.; the Yale Club of New York City; and the Century Association, New York.
In 1971 Mr. Jacobsen became a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and in 1992 he was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design. He is the recipient of the Washington Chapter/AIA Centennial Award for 1996. He was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by the University of Maryland in 1993 and the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Gettysburg College in 1974 and by Bradford College in 1990. He received the national Tau Sigma Delta Silver Medal for Distinction in Design in 1981. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Fellowship was awarded by the New Zealand Government in 1971. The Lab School of Washington D.C. presented an Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever Award in 1990.
In 2003 Hugh Jacobsen inducted in Architectural Digest's Hall of Fame and soon after the magazine started the "AD100" list of the best architects and design in the world. Hugh Jacobsen is still on that list today.
In 2007, he disbanded the company and co-founded a new one with his son Simon Jacobsen called Jacobsen Architecture, LLC. The two had worked "for each other" for years as he puts it and it was the obvious next step in continuing the legacy of Jacobsen design.