2019 Young Architect Award Recipient
Emerging talent deserves recognition. The AIA Young Architects Award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.
At the vanguard of the next generation of architects, Wesley Schwartz, AIA, is transforming practice through the integration of performance in design. His portfolio of award-winning projects is deeply connected to idea of place and defined by its relationship to our natural systems.
Schwartz is a senior associate at Boston’s Payette, where his uncanny ability to create beautiful designs while remaining a steadfast collaborator is on full view. In only 14 years of practice, his work has garnered more than 20 national and regional design awards. Schwartz has been integral in the success of Payette’s important multi-building projects for Penn State Health, Northeastern University, and the National University of Ireland, Galway. All three projects probe the intersection of design and performance through architectural solutions that occupy the forefront of integrated design and material exploration.
On Northeastern’s Boston campus, the new Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex is a study of flow and movement that reflects the university’s goal of establishing itself as premier research institution. Schwartz’s innovative approach to performance, and the implementation of its energy recovery and conservation systems, resulted in the complex using 78 percent less energy than similar intensive research facilities. The project has also given Schwartz a venue to engage the profession more broadly with the possibilities of performance-based integrated design. He has led countless tours of the complex for architects, industry groups, and students.
Passionate about teaching tomorrow’s design professionals, Schwartz became a studio instructor at Boston Architectural College in 2006, leading foundational design studios. Over the course of seven years, he motivated faculty members to create a new curriculum that reflected the school’s evolving pedagogy. He has also been a regular critic at Northeastern and Wentworth Institute of Technology. To further connect with Boston’s design community, he co-founded and regularly contributed to an offshoot site for the home design blog Apartment Therapy. His writing, original photography, and expert advice gave readers guides to creating their own beautiful homes.
Schwartz’s deep connection to nature and his resourcefulness result are products of his upbringing on a small sheep farm in rural New Hampshire. Parallel to his professional career, he remains rooted to his home and has designed and built a number of small projects on and around the farm where he grew up. His work there includes renovating a 150-year-old house, a timber frame barn, a garage, and writer’s studio, and building a single-story addition to his family’s 200-year-old farmhouse.
For Schwartz, architecture is a holistic pursuit that includes working with one of the country’s leading firms, instructing at academic institutions, and sharing his expertise with fellow architects. A leader in the profession, he continues to urge his colleagues and students to aspire to design excellence.