Architect Andrew Skurman Receives Chevalier Medal from French Government

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San Francisco's renowned classical architect Andrew Skurman was awarded the Medal of Arts and Letters by the French Consul General in San Francisco at a ceremony on Nov. 22, 2010 attended by 350 people. The investiture, held in the prestigious Neoclassical Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial, expressed France's gratitude to Skurman for his promotion of French culture. With the medal, Skurman was admitted into the Order of Arts and Letters as a Chevalier.

Renowned classical architect Andrew Skurman was awarded France's Médaille des Arts et des Lettres (Medal of Arts and Letters) for his contribution to the promotion of French culture by Corinne Pereira, the Deputy Consul General of France in San Francisco. The ceremony, attended by more than 350 invitees, was held on November 22, in the prestigious Green Room of the San Francisco War Memorial.

The Medal of Arts and Letters is awarded by the French Minister of Culture to citizens of France who have "significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance." Select foreign nationals also have received the medal since it was established in 1957. Skurman was admitted into the Order of Arts and Letters as a Chevalier, or knight.

Pereira, who spoke on behalf of the Consul general of France, Romain Serman, who had been unexpectedly called to Washington D.C., touched on the highlights of Skurman's prodigious architecture career. "We have gathered here in this beautiful Green Room to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Andrew Skurman, whose dedication to architecture and to the defense and illustration of the French Classical Style throughout his career has earned him not only the distinction that comes with this award, but the respect and admiration of the Beaux-Arts community, of his peers, and of course of his clients," she said.

Skurman, who received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cooper Union in New York, has worked at some of the most prestigious architectural firms in the world. He started his career as an apprentice at the New York office of I.M. Pei. He subsequently worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and at Gensler and Associates in San Francisco and Los Angeles before starting his own firm, Andrew Skurman Architects, in San Francisco in 1992.

Skurman is a master of Classical architecture and he interprets its forms in the French, Georgian and Mediterranean styles, specializing in the design of high-end, well-crafted private residences. He is regularly invited to lecture on the subject at the University of California at Berkeley, Yale University and Cooper Union and has taught courses in interior architecture at California State University, Long Beach.

He also is a member of the Council of Advisors of the National Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America and currently serves as Creative Director of the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show.

Pereira quoted interior designer Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks, who has collaborated with Skurman on numerous projects: "Andy has developed a passionately keen focus on French architecture, its history, nomenclature and examples. He is always in the pursuit of excellence, refining the details, studying past structures and drawing on historic precedents. His passion is evident in his studied approach to the finer points of French architecture, its nuanced moldings, graceful proportions, and elegant lines. Andy is never one to settle for 'good enough' and will always push himself, his staff, his clients and his colleagues to pursue and achieve the best."

Before awarding Skurman the medal, Pereira quoted his first client, Jerry Ganz, who was present at the Investiture: "When a young architect starts off on his own, it takes a lot of trust to ask him build a 16,800 square foot house. I already knew Andy from the firm where he had been working, and I knew that he had the ability to translate design into reality. The house that he designed was perfection. He later designed the White Apartment, which remains one of my favorite achievements, and I have built ten homes! I am happy that he loved it enough to buy it back from me and that he now lives in it."

Andrew Skurman Architects
3654 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94118


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