The winner of the first annual Designers & Books Design Book of the Year Award  (2013) is Phyllis Lambert with Building Seagram. Phyllis is Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.


The book, published by Yale University Press , portrays a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of New York’s Seagram Building, one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, designed by Mies van der Rohe.


Seagram was designed by Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson and is a masterpiece of the International Style and corporate modernism. Constructed in 1958 on New York Park Avenue, Seagram established the dominant style for American skyscrapers built during the following decades. Lambert established her role as a leading architectural patron and singlehandedly changed the face of American urban architecture. Building Seagram is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies.


The architect use of previously unpublished personal archives, company correspondence, and photographs to tell an insider’s view of the debates, resolutions, and unknown dramas of the building’s construction, as well as its crucial role in the history of modern art and architectural culture.

She is one of the great architectural patrons of the twentieth century and few are more familiar with the role of corporate patronage than she.



“Writing the book over ten years was demanding and often exhilarating; production was a collaboration of great editing and design; and the book’s reception has been wonderfully rewarding. I am honored and delighted that Building Seagram has received the first annual Design Book of the Year Award from Designers & Books.” commented Phyllis Lambert.