Home Featured 2023 Commencement Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Andrew Skurman

2023 Commencement Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Andrew Skurman

by Art U News

Andrew Skurman began his career in Architecture as an apprentice at the firm of I.M. Pei & Partners. Finding early and growing success with large international firms, Skurman also developed a private passion for classical architecture. In 1992 he made that passion his life’s work when he founded his firm, Skurman Architects. 

Skurman brings new projects to life all at once, by hand, at his drafting desk. He is in constant touch with clients during this initial design phase, realizing their dreams in the classical traditions of France, England, and the Mediterranean. Perhaps Skurman’s most powerful design tool is his extensive library of classical buildings and details. Carefully mined to inspire each project, the library provides precedent for the new houses he creates. This ensures that while it has been newly imagined to suit the needs of the client, Skurman’s work stands seamlessly beside buildings from a century ago. 

Skurman has received the honor of being named a Chevalier of Arts & Letters by the Minister of Culture of France. He also served as creative director of the landmark San Francisco Fall Show from 2008-2013. His firm has won six coveted Julia Morgan awards from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art for outstanding individual projects. In 2020, the ICAA recognized Skurman Architects with the Arthur Ross Award for lifetime achievement. 

Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens and honorary doctorate recipient Andrew Skurman. Photo by Bob Toy.

Skurman received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1976 from Cooper Union in New York City. After apprenticing with I.M. Pei from 1976 to 1980, he worked in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as a Senior Associate until 1987. He then worked as a Studio Director at Gensler in San Francisco and Los Angeles until 1992. 

Homes designed by Skurman have been featured in numerous publications such as Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Maison Française, The New York Times Magazine, California Homes, C Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, This Old House, The Robb Report, Luxe Interiors + Design, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and Elle Decor. Work by the firm is also included in the books Napa Valley Style (Rizzoli, 2003) by Kathryn Masson and San Francisco Style (Chronicle Books, 2004) by Diane Dorrans Saeks. The firm published a monograph of their work, Contemporary Classical, in 2012 with Princeton University Press. 

Skurman was bestowed an honorary doctorate by Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens on Wednesday, May 24. He delivered the following speech to this year’s class of graduating students.

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