Morphosis Architects

Morphosis Architects is an interdisciplinary architectural and design practice based in Los Angeles and New York City.

Morphosis Architects
IndustryArchitectural firm
Founded1972; 51 years ago (1972)
FoundersMichael Brickler, Thom Mayne, Livio Santini, James Stafford
Number of employees
>60 (2019)


The firm was informally founded in 1972 by Michael Brickler, Thom Mayne, Livio Santini and James Stafford. Michael Rotondi joined the practice in 1975 and remained a principal until 1991.[1] Writing in 1989, Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell called Morphosis "one of the country's most interesting" architecture firms, and described its very physical, materials-focused design style as "look[ing] as if it might hurt you."[2]


Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University (2014)

Born in Connecticut, Thom Mayne (b. 1944) studied architecture at the University of Southern California and Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was a founding member of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 1972, and has held faculty positions at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, and the University of California, Los Angeles. Mayne was the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2005.[3]

Michael Rotondi (b. 1949) was one of 50 students who attended SCI-Arc when it started in 1972. He became the director of the school in 1987,[4] and held that position until 1997.[5] Rotondi's career awards include the 2009 AIA/LA Gold Medal[6] and the 2014 Richard J. Neutra Medal from Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design.[7][8]


Notable works by the firm include:

Emerson College LA Center (2014)


Mayne and Rotondi received numerous awards for their work in Morphosis, including 11 American Institute of Architects awards and 12 from Progressive Architecture. In 1992, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters awarded them the Academy-Institute Award in Architecture.[1]

Morphosis has been recognized with more than 190 local, national and international awards, including nine for the design of the Emerson College Los Angeles campus and 16 for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. These include the 2014 Los Angeles Architecture Awards Grand Prize, presented by the Los Angeles Business Council, for designing the campus of Emerson College in Hollywood.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Architects Mayne, Rotondi Cited", Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1992.
  2. ^ Robert Campbell, "Recapturing the Creative World of Play", The Boston Globe,July 16, 1989  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  3. ^ Gannon & Branda, Todd & Ewan (2013). A Confederacy of Heretics. Los Angeles, CA: SCI-Arc Press. ISBN 9781606062630.
  4. ^ "Pioneering Design Student Leads Program", Los Angeles Times, October 25, 1987.
  5. ^ "Architecture School Hires Director", Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1997.
  6. ^ "Architect Michael Rotondi Takes the AIA/LA Gold", Curbed, July 27, 2009.
  7. ^ "Michael Rotondi to Receive Richard J. Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence", ArchDaily, October 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Michael Rotondi's Curricula Vitae Archived 2015-02-19 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 2015-02-25).
  9. ^ Richardson, Sara S. (April 1987). "MORPHOSIS: Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi". Vance Bibliographies. Architecture Series: Bibliography (#A 1806).
  10. ^ "Bill & Melinda Gates Hall / Morphosis Architects". ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  11. ^ a b Segelken, H. Roger (23 January 2014). "Cornell's new Gates Hall is not what it seems". Cornell University. Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. ^ Gregor, Alison (June 12, 2015). "World's Tallest Passive House Breaks Ground on Roosevelt Island". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Wolfman-Arent, Avi (August 10, 2014). "Creating an Ever-Flexible Center for Tech Innovation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (September 13, 2017). "High Tech and High Design, Cornell's Roosevelt Island Campus Opens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  15. ^ Lubell, Sam (August 12, 2019). "Korean American museum design calls for a lush rooftop garden and a sense of mystery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  16. ^ ArchDaily (June 5, 2014). "2014 Los Angeles Architectural Awards Announced". Plataforma Networks. Retrieved 21 February 2015.

External linksEdit