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Architect Thom Mayne joining SCI-Arc's board of trustees

April 4, 2011 |  1:51 pm


Thom Mayne, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect who heads the Santa Monica firm Morphosis Architects, is joining the board of trustees of the Southern California Institute of Architecture. The school said that Mayne was elected by the board at its quarterly meeting last week.

It may strike some as strange that Mayne isn't already on the school's board, since he was one of the co-founders of SCI-Arc in 1972 and remains actively involved with the school. But his private practice and other teaching positions have apparently kept him busy for the past 39 years.

Mayne was one of a handful of faculty members, along with approximately 40 students, who abruptly left Cal Poly Pomona in 1972 to create SCI-Arc. The rift was due to differences between the dean at Cal Poly at the time and Ray Kappe, who headed the school's architecture department. In an interview with the Architectural Record, Kappe said that Cal Poly's dean had asked him to resign. "I called him a liar and worse—it caused a brouhaha at the school," Kappe said.

Located in downtown L.A., SCI-Arc offers undergraduate and graduate classes as well as public programs and lecture series.

A founder of Morphosis, Mayne has overseen a number of famous buildings in L.A. and around the world. Some of the firm's notable creations include the Caltrans building in downtown L.A., the new academic building at Cooper Union in New York and the Cahill Center at Caltech in Pasadena. He also has been involved in the reconstruction of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

Mayne won the Pritzker Prize in 2005. The SCI-Arc board is led by architect Jerry Neuman and includes the school's director, Eric Owen Moss.


Caltrans Eduardo Souto de Moura, Portuguese architect, wins 2011 Pritzker Prize

Review: Thom Mayne's Cahill Center at Caltech

Runners-up for U.S. Embassy in London: Mayne, Meier, Pei

Thom Mayne museum building still a go in Dallas


-- David Ng

Photo (top): Thom Mayne. Credit: Beth Dubber/ Rafael Sampaio Rocha

Photo (bottom): The Caltrans building in downtown L.A., designed by Thom Mayne's Morphosis Architects. Credit: Morphosis Architects