Acclaimed for projects such as the Greenporter Hotel and Spa on Long Island and The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future in Dallas, Wendy Evans Joseph has worked in dialogue with Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive spaces in the Price Tower, creating gracious and ample interiors that speak to his aesthetic yet have a distinct identity of their own. Using maple, copper plumbing pipe, and textiles that were custom-crafted in Tibet and India-contemporary variations of the materials Wright himself employed-Joseph has designed virtually every element in the rooms, from the murals to the copper-mesh window curtains, from the king-size beds to the towel racks. As in Wright’s own designs, every detail contributes to a striking whole.
“It’s an architectural approach to interiors,” Joseph explains, “and what’s important to me is that it’s been done in a strictly principled way, with the greatest respect for this masterpiece of a building. The biggest challenge was to create a unique new place that carefully distinguishes itself from the original architecture. There must be no confusion between what was there and what’s new.”
Almost every piece you’ll find in the hotel has been designed by Wendy Evans Joseph and custom built for us. “The Inn at Price Tower is going to become known as one of the great hotel experiences.”
The ultimate space in the building, according to Joseph, is Copper, the bar-restaurant designed for the 15th and 16th floors in 2003. Joseph’s attention to the two-story glassed space, which is cantilevered over the Oklahoma prairie, underscores Wright’s own dramatic play on scale and light. “You feel you’re up in the tree with fantastic views,” she says. With seating for approximately 50 people, Copper features a countertop bar on the upper floor, running along the balcony edge and an intimate banquette area on the lower level. “I think this is going to be the hottest table in the Southwest,” predicted Joseph.
About the Architect
Wendy Evans Joseph worked with Pei Cobb Freed & Partners before founding her own firm, Wendy Evans Joseph Architecture, in 1996. She played a significant role in the design of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and was involved in the design of the Federal Courthouse in Boston and the corporate headquarters for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Joseph earned her master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she was valedictorian of the class of 1981 and won the Henry Adams Medal and the Kelley Prize for the best thesis design. In 1984, she won the Rome Prize in Architecture and was a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.
Recent project awards for Ms. Joseph include designation as a finalist for Hospitality Design’s Gold Key Awards (2002) for The Greenporter Hotel; Utah State Honor Award for Design for the Holocaust Memorial Garden; AIA New York State Design Merit Award, Construction Magazine Best of 2000 citation, EDS Engineering Award, and Business Week/Architectural Record 2001 Award for the pedestrian bridge at The Rockefeller University; and Dallas City Urban Design Built Award (2000) and Preservation Magazine award for The Women’s Museum. Ms. Joseph was the 2001 winner of the National Entrepreneurial Award for a sole proprietor given by Working Woman Magazine Network and was honored in 2002 by the American Women’s Economic Development Committee (AWED).
Ms. Joseph became involved with Inn at Price Tower after visiting the Price Tower Arts Center and then returning to the area to lecture. During one of those lecture tours, Richard Townsend, former Executive Director and CEO of PTAC, approached Ms. Joseph and expressed an interest in her portfolio, especially her experience with boutique hotel design. Her work at Inn at Price Tower seeks to create a dialogue between the original Frank Lloyd Wright structure and the new furnishings and fixtures.
In addition to Inn at Price Tower, the Wendy Evans Joseph Architecture firm’s recent projects include The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future (Dallas); a long-span pedestrian bridge over East 63rd Street for The Rockefeller University (New York); a Holocaust Memorial Garden and exhibition (Salt Lake City); Wykagyl shopping center (New Rochelle); and a renovation of The Greenporter Hotel and Cuvee restaurant (Greenport, Long Island).
Ms. Joseph is president of the Architectural League of New York, a member of the Design Council of The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and the immediate past chairman of the American Institute of Architects National Committee on Design. In 2000, Ms. Joseph served as president of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the largest and oldest chapter of the AIA.
She also sits on the boards of American Ballet Theater and the Second Stage Theater; is a member of The Rockefeller University Executive Council; and is secretary of the board of overseers of the American Academy in Rome, Chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts board of overseers, and a Trustee of the University and a member of the Visiting Committee at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.