Brad Cloepfil Bio
Brad Cloepfil studied architecture at the University of Oregon and went on to earn an advanced degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. After more than a decade of work and teaching in Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Switzerland, Cloepfil founded Allied Works Architecture in his native Portland, Oregon in 1994. The New York City office followed in 2002.
Cloepfil’s earliest influences lay outside the field of architecture. While studying at the University of Oregon, he drew inspiration from the vast landscape and monumental works of civil engineering in the Pacific Northwest. While studying in New York he was introduced to the simple yet profoundly resonant gestures of land and installation artists of that time.
His body of work is as informed by the land and the history of place as it is by formal training, and it is one that cuts a clear line through much of the infatuation with rhetoric and formal novelty surrounding the practice today. The approach to design combines a research-intensive focus on the specific character of each project with an understanding of the profoundly affecting possibilities of building.
In addition to leading all aspects of creative work at Allied Works, Cloepfil has held visiting professorships at Syrcause University, UC Berkeley, Rice University, and University of Minnesota. From 1987-1996 he was a faculty member at University of Oregon and is actively involved in the Board. In the Fall 2011, Cloepfil will act as the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.
He is also a frequent lecturer at leading universities, cultural institutions and creative companies throughout the world. Most recently, Cloepfil has lectured at Apple, the Architectural Association in London, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the New York Public Library, the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects, and Taliesen West – the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. In the Fall 2011, Cloepfil will lecture at Google New York and The Hammer Museum in conjunction with Zócalo Public Square.
In January 2011, Christopher Hawthorne, architecture critic of the Los Angeles Times, named Cloepfil as a ‘Face to Watch in the Arts’ along with two other international architects.
In 2007, Metropolis’ Andrew Blum described Clopefil as “an elementalist in an architecture culture in which image is king… a leading American architect of a new type: not a showman or a theorist, not a regionalist or a corporate architect, but a high-art practitioner with a burgeoning reputation for powerful, if subtle, buildings.”