The 2017 jury for the Texas Society of Architects O’Neil Ford Medal for Design Achievement has named Max Levy, FAIA, as this year’s honoree. Levy, whose most recent award-winning projects include Prospect House, a wedding and events center in Dripping Springs, House on Rainbo Lake, and the Saint Michael and All Angels Columbarium, is one of the leading residential architects in Dallas. The jury commented on the selection:
Max Levy is an extraordinary practitioner who creates profound architecture of convincing authority from modest circumstances, most often at a domestic scale. In view of his long career proving that carefully crafted ideas, meticulously executed, can make places of distinction from humble materials, the award is both apt and appropriate.
Working in a small studio, Levy and his collaborators make optimistic and cheerful buildings that are sensitive and exquisitely scaled to their settings. Frequently working with mundane residential sites within faceless suburbs, Levy finds ways to transcend the context and subversively turn it on its head, creating a new way to view and experience a house within a neighborhood.
Often, his buildings project a sense of ease and simplicity that require examination and understanding to be fully appreciated. That study is rewarded by a recognition of the goodwill and wit with which Levy is working and the celebration of humanity that is palpable in all
First among his tools is light, which he channels, shapes, and imbues with mystery. Second are the basic materials of simple construction: framing members, glass windows and panels, corrugated and standing seam metal, all used in traditional and familiar ways. Third is strong geometry and order, a sense of scale and proportion that is assured and has evolved and grown over time. Using this modest kit of parts and his own considerable brilliance, Levy has created an enviable body of built work that challenges and inspires every architect in Texas.
The O’Neil Ford medal will be presented to Levy at the 2017 Convention in Austin this November.
Max is clearly deserving of O’Neill Ford Award recognition. I recall Max’s small
project in a Houston Park many years ago, a simple gem with profound presence and
immaculate detail. His speaking at LRGV.AIA’s Building Communities Conference Fellow’s Forum in the 2000’s spoke of his intuitive influence and giving, and small firm brilliance that continues to inspire. I only forward to every project Max touches. Incalculable genius at work!