Eugene Kohn, co-founder of prolific architecture firm KPF, dies at 92

March 10, 2023

Photo courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF)

Eugene Kohn, who co-founded the influential international architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, died on Thursday at the age of 92. Founded in 1976 by Kohn, William Pedersen, and Sheldon Fox, KPF has designed hundreds of buildings across the globe, with numerous notable skyscrapers in New York. Recent additions to the New York City skyline by KPF include One Vanderbilt, 10, 30, and 55 Hudson Yards, Brooklyn Point, and Two Waterline Square, among others.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kohn received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. KPF’s first commission was the conversion of an armory on West 66th Street into ABC studios in 1977; the firm later designed the entire campus for the television studio, according to the New York Times.

Other notable buildings designed by the firm included 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago, the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and six of the 12 tallest towers in the world, including the Shanghai World Financial Center and Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre.

Hudson Yards, Photo by Connie Zhou, courtesy of KPF

KPF has had a significant impact on New York City’s urban landscape, shifting the skyline with its design of three Hudson Yards towers, the glassy residential tower at Two Waterline Square on the Upper West Side, Brooklyn’s second tallest tower, Brooklyn Point, and Midtown’s tallest office tower, One Vanderbilt.

What started as a three-partner firm in an office in Midtown has grown into a firm of over 700 staff led by 34 principals with offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Seoul, Berlin, and Singapore, according to KPF’s website.

“Gene was universally respected in the community for his ability to achieve consensus,” James von Klemperer, KPF President, said.

“His seemingly limitless interest in other human beings gave him powerful insights into the social aspect of building programs and larger urban agendas. Without his easy charm and focused intensity, such notable projects as Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, the World Bank in Washington DC, One Vanderbilt in New York, and the reinvigoration of Covent Garden in London would not have realized their full success.”

In addition to his work with KPF, Kohn taught at Columbia and Harvard Universities. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his sons Steven and Brian, his daughter Laurie, and nine grandchildren.


Explore NYC Virtually

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *