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Martell Distinguished Visiting Critic


The Martell Distinguished Visiting Critic is awarded to architects of international significance annually to work closely with graduate students in the design studio.

Christopher Martell graduated from the undergraduate program in architecture at UB in 1996 and went on to receive his M.Arch. degree in 2001. After working in practice locally with Kideney Architects on a range of significant projects and also collaborating with Cannon Design. Chris has gone on to develop his interest in lighting and theater. After he moved to New York City, he worked as a lighting designer with Frost Lighting, Inc., on a range of different theatrical productions, concerts, and special events before setting up Key Lighting & Visual LLC, a lighting and production company that is the most technically advanced on the east coast.

Chris and his wife Sally have very generously agreed to support the Martell Distinguished Visiting Critic Program.  The program will make it possible to bring architects of international significance to the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo each year to work closely with graduate students in the design studio and also give a school-wide public lecture.

Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey, the 2010 Martell Distinguished Visiting Critics, work from a studio in Dublin. They have an international reputation and are the designers of notable cultural and educational buildings including the Irish Film Centre, Ranelagh Multidenominational School, the Furniture College in Letterfrack, the Timberyard Housing in Dublin, and the Sean O’Casey Community Centre.

They recently won the competition to design a new student center at the London School of Economics. O’Donnell and Tuomey have also developed urban design proposals for the Temple Bar in Dublin and the Zuid Poort masterplan in Delft. The work of O’Donnell and Tuomey has been widely published and the buildings they have designed have received national and international awards.

  • 2010 Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey
  • 2009 MOS
  • 2008 Thom Mayne
  • 2007 Tod Williams + Billie Tsien
  • 2006 Brigitte Shim
  • 2005 Steven Holl