| February 28, 1923 (age 92) (1923-02-28) San Francisco, California, U.S|
Washington University in St. Louis, University of California, Berkeley, Cranbrook Educational Community
National Air and Space Museum
Gyo Obata Wikipedia
Gyo Obata (born February 28, 1923) is an American architect, the son of painter Chiura Obata and his wife, Haruko Obata, a floral designer. In 1955, he co-founded global architectural firm HOK (formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum). He lives in St. Louis, Missouri and still works in HOK's St. Louis office. He has designed several notable buildings, including the McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center, the Independence Temple of the Community of Christ church and the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Obata was born and raised in San Francisco. Due to his family's Japanese heritage, he was nearly interned with other Japanese-Americans during World War II. Though his family was sent to an internment camp, he avoided it by leaving the School of Architecture at the University of California-Berkeley to study architecture at Washington University in St. Louis the only university in the United States willing to accept Japanese nationals at that time. He earned his bachelor of architecture degree there in 1945.
He then studied under master Finnish architect Eero Saarinen at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, receiving his master's degree in architecture and urban design in 1946.
After serving in the U.S. Army from 1946–1947 and working as an architect in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill from 1947–1951, Obata returned to St. Louis in 1951 to join the firm of Minoru Yamasaki, designer of the World Trade Center towers. Four years later, in 1955, he joined architects George Hellmuth and George Kassabaum in establishing the St. Louis-based architecture firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.
Due in part to Obata's prowess and growing reputation, the firm achieved global renown, and Obata himself has won numerous awards for his designs. Today, HOK has more than 1,800 employees in 23 offices worldwide.
In 2010, Obata was featured in a book written by Marlene Ann Birkman and published by The Images Publishing Group titled, Gyo Obata: Architect | Clients | Reflections. The book features 30 of Obata's projects (and clients) spanning five decades.
Obata's design philosophy is "to provide spaces which are not only functional, but also enhance the quality of life for those who work and live in them." In Gyo Obata: Architect | Clients | Reflections, he says that, "The language that architects use to define space is daylight. Each project offers new potential for discovery, for understanding the site and program, and an opportunity to do a thoughtfully designed building that will bring meaning and enjoyment to the people who will occupy it."
Obata's national and international projects include:Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois
Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, Denver, Colorado
BP Building, Cleveland, Ohio
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Campus, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Headquarters and Operations Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Florida Aquarium, Tampa, Florida
Foley Square in New York City
Galleria Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Moscone Center, San Francisco, California
Great American Tower at Queen City Square, Cincinnati, Ohio
Houston Galleria, Houston, Texas
Independence Temple, Independence, Missouri
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California
Kellogg Company Headquarters, Battle Creek, Michigan
King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Levi's Plaza, San Francisco, California
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
Neiman Marcus Store, Houston, Texas
Palo Alto Research Center, Palo Alto, California
Sendai International Airport Terminal Building in Sendai, Japan
Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei City, Taiwan
University of Michigan Northwoods IV Housting, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Campus Master Plan, Kenosha, Wisconsin
United States Penitentiary, Marion, Marion, Illinois
Wrigley Company Global Innovation Center, Chicago, Illinois
St. Louis-area projects include:Anthony's Restaurant and Bar, St. Louis, Missouri
Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine Center for Advanced Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Boatmen's Tower, St. Louis, Missouri
Boeing Leadership Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Centene Plaza, Clayton, Missouri
Cervantes Convention Center and Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Congregation Bnai' Amoona Synagogue, St. Louis, Missouri
Forsythe Plaza, Clayton, Missouri
James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Lindell Terrace Apartments (now Lindell Terrace Condominium), St. Louis, Missouri
Metropolitan Square, St. Louis, Missouri- Current location of HOK St. Louis office
Missouri History Museum Emerson Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Obata Residence, St. Louis, Missouri
One Bell Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Priory Chapel (Saint Louis Abbey Church), St. Louis, Missouri
Saint Louis Zoo Children's Zoo and The Living World, St. Louis, Missouri
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Campus, Edwardsville, Illinois
St. Louis Union Station Renovation and Redevelopment, St. Louis, Missouri
Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Washington University School of Medicine Farrell Learning and Teaching Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Western Illinois University Malpass Library, Macomb, Illinois
Elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (1969).
Washington University in St. Louis Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (1990).
Advisory Council for the Presidio in San Francisco (1991).
University of Missouri-St. Louis Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (1991).
Inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame (1992).
First Howard A. Friedman Visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley (1992).
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Honorary Doctorate (1999).
American Institute of Architects St. Louis Gold Award Honor (2002).
Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts from the Japanese American National Museum (2004).
Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. Louis Arts and Education Council (2008).
Washington University in St. Louis Dean's Medal for the Sam Fox Awards for Distinction (2008).