Ron Krueck, FAIA, Receives 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award


Continuing their century-and-a-half long tradition of recognizing Chicago’s enduring architectural legacy, AIA Chicago will present its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Ron Krueck, FAIA, founding partner of Krueck + Sexton Architects, joining previous winners such as Stanley Tigerman, FAIA, Helmut Jahn, FAIA, and philanthropist Richard Driehaus.

A graduate of IIT’s School of Architecture, Krueck founded the firm Krueck and Olsen in 1979 and in 1991, the partnership with Mark Sexton, FAIA was formed and the firm was renamed Krueck + Sexton Architects. Krueck’s first project, the iconic Steel and Glass House (1981), set in motion a 35 year career that has helped define and shape Chicago as a truly modern city.  Steadfast in his commitment to Modernism, Krueck never ventured into the realm of “Post Modernism”.

As principal of Krueck + Sexton, Krueck has championed the firm’s architectural vision over the first three decades.  As the youngest Lifetime Achievement recipient, he anticipates pushing the envelope in the decades ahead. Krueck + Sexton’s work includes the South Florida FBI Headquarters (2015), Herman Miller Design Centers (1996 - 2006), the Spertus Institute (2007), Crown Fountain (2004) in collaboration with Artist Jaume Plensa, and the renovation of the United Airlines Terminals at LAX (2017) .  Current projects “on the boards” include a 52 story office tower at 130 North Franklin and United States Embassies in Papua New Guinea and Kenya.  Many of Krueck + Sexton’s projects have earned numerous AIA national and AIA Chicago awards as well as five Chicago Architecture Foundation Patron Awards.

“Ron’s work consistently embodies qualities that define architectural excellence. His work is thoughtful, meticulously executed, relevant, and responsive to the client; not to mention undeniably elegant,” says Zurich Esposito, Executive Vice President of AIA Chicago. “He is highly regarded by the architecture community as an innovator, and has earned this reputation with quiet humility.”

As an architect, Krueck is known among clients and colleagues for his ability to listen to the needs of the client, and to take pleasure in the design process. “Ultimately,” says Krueck, “our work is grounded in a humanistic value: that the act of discovery and of making is a delight. Whether the project is a house, school, museum, or city, assumptions can be challenged, preconceptions can be overturned, and in the end, the world can be made new, again.” 

As an advocate for preserving, restoring, and teaching the architecture and philosophies of Modernism, Krueck and his firm have also completed the restoration of Mies van der Rohe’s IIT Crown Hall and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive. In addition, since 2003, he has been working with various groups for the preservation of the Farnsworth House. He remains active at the Art Institute of Chicago and currently sits on the Committee of 20th Century and Contemporary Art.  As Studio Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology for over 30 years and visiting Professor at Harvard GSD, Krueck has mentored hundreds of aspiring young architects. 

In 1983, Ron was named an “Emerging Voice” by the Architectural League of New York.  Three years later, he was named one of the ’40 under 40’ Top Architects in the United States and in 1993, Ron was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.  He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1992 and in 2005, was recognized as Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune.

“Receiving this award led me to be reflective in a way that does not come naturally to me,” states Krueck. “From the beginning I was interested in evolving and extending the modernist language of architecture, as well as the doctrines of the Chicago School. Through intuition and a certain amount of determination, we have stayed true to those goals. I feel this award validates this approach.”

Krueck will receive the award at Designight—AIA Chicago’s premier design awards event—on October 14, 2016. Held at Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, the event will recognize Krueck as well as all recipients of the 2106 Design Excellence Awards.