Arthur Ross Award for Excellence

2023 Arthur RossAward for Excellence in the Classical Tradition

Arthur Ross Award for Excellence

It is with great pride and our highest admiration that we congratulate Khoury Vogt Architects on winning the 2023 Arthur RossAward for Excellence in the Classical Tradition.

This prestigious award—tantamount to the Academy Awards of the design world—is presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) and has since 1982 recognized the achievements and contributions of architects, painters, sculptors, artisans, landscape designers, educators, publishers, patrons, and others dedicated to preserving and advancing the classical tradition.

Alys Beach town architects Marieanne Khoury-Vogt and Erik Vogt accepted the award of behalf of their firm, Khoury Vogt Architects (KVA), speaking to a room of illustrious names in the field of classical architecture at the University Club in New York City in May.

As Marieanne stated in the speech she and Erik prepared for the night,“We were, needless to say, quite delighted and surprised to receive the call. It was not simply because we felt undeserving of taking a place beside all of our illustrious predecessors for this award, but also because we always thought that we existed somewhat outside the purview of our colleagues here, literally and figuratively toiling away in the provinces, far from the Manhattan crowd. So, it is so very gratifying that you took notice of us.”

For Alys Beach and for KVA, this award represents decades of dedication to the art and understanding of the fundamentals of design, but also the growing recognition of Alys Beach’s architectural style within the design community. The work Marieanne and Erik have done, both at Alys Beach and beyond, has exemplified and uplifted the elements of classical architecture in a way that’s truly their own.

Marieanne continued, “The other reason we were somewhat taken aback is that we recognize our work doesn’t exactly adhere to all the formal elements of classical architecture. But it is, we believe, firmly grounded in the tradition’s most basic principles—in a building’s firmness—the expression of gravity and tectonic bearing in its forms and syntax. This is what renders it intelligible to the human eye. The other principle we consider essential to our work is the aspect of delight, the inclusion of the unexpected moment or exotic form. This is what elicits empathy and joy in the human heart. And we know these qualities bind our work to that of our predecessors and our colleagues here tonight.”

For Alys Beach to be among the firm’s portfolio of revered work is a testament to the values the town has held close since its inception. KVA has been integral in the realization of these values and the vision of Alys Beach, guiding the designs of the homes and commons spaces down to each and every thoughtful detail. As full-time residents, the depth of their involvement and understanding in implementing the original master plan of DPZ CoDesign, and the collaborative design code, is paramount. At the same time, the incorporation of KVA’s own stamp on the architectural signature that defines Alys Beach has thoughtfully and sentimentally sculpted one of the most captivating New Urbanist towns in the United States—possibly the world. Grounded in enduring, traditional typologies, KVA’s work has provided a framework from which their architectural language has developed as a union between the modern form and function of the present day and the vernacular traditions, drawing on influences of the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, with distinctively Moroccan characteristics.

Nearing the conclusion of her acceptance speech, Marieanne spoke of the gratitude she feels in being a part of the Alys Beach community. She expressed that Andrés Duany of DPZ told them Twenty years ago that they would not amount to much if they didn’t “accept his demand” that they move to the Florida Panhandle to oversee the architecture of Alys Beach.

“We thank our lucky stars that we listened, as this was an absolutely pivotal moment in our early practice. Under the aegis of the Stephens family, we are proud to have had a hand in shaping one of the most beautiful communities in the U.S.”