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American Institute of Architects Honors Local Design Expert

Gary Lapera, FAIA, of Pennington, N.J., was recently elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) esteemed College of Fellows. Lapera, a member of AIA’s New Jersey chapter (AIA-NJ), will be recognized at an investiture ceremony in Chicago, IL during the 2014 AIA National Convention in June.


The honor is one of the highest awarded to architects for their individual achievements and contributions to the profession and practice of architecture. There are currently slightly over 3,100 fellows within the national AIA membership of 83,000.

“With over 30 years of experience designing and implementing innovative designs around the world, Gary's contributions to the profession are extraordinary,” said Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, CSI, president of AIA-NJ. “His work is representative of AIA-NJ's goal to promote inventive design, both aesthetically and functionally. This recognition is greatly deserved.”

Lapera, Principal and Studio Head at Michael Graves & Associates in Princeton, N.J. was one of 139 architects nationally - and one of only two architects in New Jersey - to be distinguished with the honor of fellowship this year. The selection committee noted his ability to marry design and construction, fulfilling demand for customization and intricate design on large-scale projects.

“I'm extremely grateful to my colleagues at AIA for selecting me for this honor,” said Lapera. “AIA has shone a spotlight not only on its individual members, but on how the organization at large is working to enrich our lives through the built environment. I'm honored to be admitted to the College of Fellows, and I look forward to continuing the legacy of MGA’s practice, which is committed to good design for all.”

Among Lapera's career highlights are the design of the prestigious Louwman Museum in the Hague, Netherlands; Castalia: Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, also located in the Hague, Netherlands and the recipient of a design award as the "best development in the world" from the international real estate federation, FIABCI; The Nile Corniche, a mixed-use residential and hotel development in Cairo, Egypt; 51 Degrees, a mixed use destination resort complex in Switzerland that received 5 International Property Awards; numerous design-build projects in Japan; Coeur de Lion, a city for 300,000 in Senegal; and a trend-setting training center for the Philadelphia Eagles football team. Lapera has been recognized for his meticulous attention to culture and context, real estate markets, and geographical nuances in his international designs.

At Michael Graves & Associates, Lapera has developed innovations in building systems which focus on prefabrication and integrated project delivery. He offers an annual seminar in architectural design for Cornell University’s real estate program, and gave the keynote address at the 2012 conference of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India. He has also lectured at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Urban Land Institute, Johns Hopkins, AIA Design Build Summit, and Nike.

Lapera graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Architecture and from Harvard University with a Masters in Architecture.

For more information on AIA-NJ, please visit the website at www.aia-nj.org.

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