Endemic | Interview

The Architectural League Prize 2015
Clark Thenhaus

Clark Thenhaus tests form-making strategies by combining or recontextualizing standard geometries to produce unfamiliar or original forms. His practice, Endemic, has lately focused on spheres, cones, and cylinders as part of a “broad survey of contemporary formalism.”

His Authenticity installation uses the form of the dome to investigate features of the pastoral landscape, particularly abandoned Cold War-era missile silos. Thenhaus’s four dome models, each executed in a different material and sitting atop a different “hill,” play with the surrealism of “reconciling political histories in landscape” by siting each in one of four possible “middles” of America. Disentangling these forms from their defense connotations repositions them as architectural problems and engages questions about “tropes of representation.”


Clark Thenhaus was a 2014 MacDowell Art Colony Fellow and was named the 2013–2014 Willard A. Oberdick Fellow at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is now Visiting Faculty at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. He received a B.Envd from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.Arch from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Architectural League Prize, established in 1981, recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum for the exchange of their ideas.

Visit the 2015 League Prize feature for more information about this year’s winners and the theme of Authenticity. See the complete list of past winners here.