BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robert G. Shibley, dean of the University at
Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning, has received the
Robert and Louise Bethune Award, the highest accolade that the
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Buffalo/Western New York
The award, announced on Nov. 15, is a lifetime achievement
award. It recognizes Shibley's contributions to the profession of
architecture over the past 30 years through practice, mentorship
and community leadership.
The architecture honor comes two years after the New York
Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized
Shibley with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to
the planning profession.
Over a long and distinguished career, he has helped to shape the
region's landscape, playing a leading role in urban design and
planning initiatives including the City of Buffalo's comprehensive
plan, the "Queen City Hub" plan for downtown Buffalo, and master
plans for the Buffalo waterfront, the Larkin District, the Buffalo
Olmsted Park System, and the City of Niagara Falls.
This past year, Shibley led a jury of community leaders and
Kaleida Health officials in developing and then judging a design
competition for the reuse of the Millard Fillmore Gates Circle
Hospital in Buffalo.
As UB's first campus architect, Shibley has played a pivotal
role in shaping UB's campus footprint, including its expansion
Shibley chaired the committee that conducted the design
competition to select an architectural team for designing the UB
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences' new downtown Buffalo
home. He also led the international competition that chose
world-renowned landscape artist Walter Hood as designer of The
Solar Strand, a 3,200-panel photovoltaic array that opened on UB's
North Campus this April.
Both of these impressive facilities are part of the university's
award-winning master plan, "Building UB: The Comprehensive Physical
Plan," whose development Shibley spearheaded.
The plan guides development of facilities and public spaces on
UB's three campuses. It envisions UB's North Campus as a vibrant,
sociable living and learning community, and UB's South Campus as a
center of professional education. Under "Building UB," UB's
Downtown Campus is undergoing a transformation into a hub for
teaching, research and clinical care in the biomedical
Shibley, a professor of architecture and urban and regional
planning, joined UB's faculty in 1982. He assumed his position as
dean in 2011. In 1990, he founded the Urban Design Project, an
award-winning center for the study and critical practice of urban
design that recently aligned with the UB Regional Institute and
continues to engage in the region's most prominent planning and
A certified planner and licensed architect, he was elevated to
the status of Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in
2010. The designation of Fellow is the highest honor the national
AIA can bestow upon a member.
In the community, Shibley has gained a reputation as a consensus
building visionary, engaging members of the public in discussions
about how the region's urban design and architectural landscape can
meet their needs. In the classroom, he has helped to train the next
generation of architects and planners, teaching courses from large
undergraduate lectures to intimate graduate seminars.
"Over the past three decades, Bob has contributed to all aspects
of the built environment in Western New York based on his
commitment to design excellence and the principle that design is
the public's business," says Kelly Hayes McAlonie, president of AIA
New York State and interim associate vice provost of UB's Capital
Planning Group. "But his legacy, as a professor before all else, is
in the work of his students as they carry these principles in their
practice across our region and world."
"I view the award as the celebration of a long-running
collaboration among colleagues at the University at Buffalo, the
School of Architecture and Planning and the communities that host
us," Shibley said. "It is wonderful to work with people who
understand that city- and region-building are team sports."
A biography of Shibley is available at http://www.ap.buffalo.edu/planning/people/shibley.asp.