Architect John Portman dies at 93

He believed being an architect also meant being a real estate developer

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Dec.December 30, 2017 05:54 PM

Architect John Portman among the buildings of his signature project, Peachtree Center
in Atlanta. (Photo © Michael Portman, courtesy 2011 press kit)

Known for his towering atrium designs with transparent glass elevators, notably in hotels, John Portman viewed development as an integral part of being an architect. He died, at the age of 93, on Friday, according to the New York Times.

Portman founded his firm, John Portman & Associates, in 1953 after getting architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Originally from Atlanta, he was born in 1924 and believed in managing the financing of his projects through acquisition and securing loans.

His breakout project was the Peachtree Center in his hometown – a massive project that covered 14 blocks and consisted of retail, hotel and office towers. His approach to “urban renewal,” a much touted-goal of many projects at the time, raised his personal star power and created a style that, though both revered and criticized, changed hotel design.

“You want to hopefully spark their enthusiasm. Like riding in a glass elevator: Everyone talks on a glass elevator,” he said in 2011. “Architecture should be a symphony.”

His other notable projects include The Marriott Marquis in Times Square, the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles and Hyatt Regency hotels in Atlanta and San Francisco to name a few. His designs live on across the U.S. and throughout Asia from Shanghai to Mumbai.

Portman never retired and most recently spoke at The Real Deal’s Shanghai event last month.

[NYT] — Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards (Credit: Adam Pogoff)

Views from 1,100 feet: A tour of Related’s “the edge,” the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere

Views from 1,100 feet: A tour of Related’s “the edge,” the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere
These are the tallest towers underway in NYC

These are the tallest towers underway
in NYC

These are the tallest towers underway
in NYC
A new competition asks what would houses on Mars look like (Credit: Getty Images, Pixabay)

Architecture’s final frontier: Here’s what houses on Mars might look like

Architecture’s final frontier: Here’s what houses on Mars might look like
Nightingale’s Eli Schwartz and 111 Wall Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Nightingale, Wafra seek $860M to redevelop 111 Wall Street

Nightingale, Wafra seek $860M to redevelop 111 Wall Street
Clockwise from left: 950 University Avenue in the Bronx, 27-55 Jackson Avenue in Queens, 149 Pioneer Street in Red Hook and 416 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg (Google Maps)

EB-5 investor snags Hunters Point resi development: Mid-market sales report

EB-5 investor snags Hunters Point resi development: Mid-market sales report
Port Authority Bus Terminal and AECOM CEO Troy Rudd (Roger Rowlett via Wikipedia; AECOM)

“Worst place on earth” may be buried underground

“Worst place on earth” may be buried underground
From left: David Singelyn of Homes 4 Rent, Jacque Petroulakis of NextMetro, and Adam Adler of Global City (Photos via Nexmetro, Global City, Singelyn via Cal Poly Pomona)

Developers bet big on build-for-rent in these uncertain times

Developers bet big on build-for-rent in these uncertain times
New York City Council member Brad Lander (Getty)

Brad Lander calls for city to use land banks

Brad Lander calls for city to use land banks
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...