Fred Koetter Dies at 79

Fred Koetter. Image courtesy the University of Oregon.

Architect Fred Koetter, FAIA, a founding principal of the Boston-based practice Koetter Kim & Associates, died on August 21. He was 79. Koetter’s career saw the creation numerous urban projects such as Miller Park Plaza in Chattanooga, Tennessee; the Codex Corporation headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts; and the Firestone Library at Princeton University.

Koetter held a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and a Master’s degree in architecture from Cornell University. During his time at Cornell, Koetter met urban design theorist Colin Rowe, with whom he would eventually pen the 1979 book Collage City, which served as an influential critique of modernist architecture. In 1978, he co-founded his Boston-based firm Koetter Kim & Associates with Susie Kim, and also began teaching at Harvard University. He continued to teach at Harvard through 1992 before leaving to join the Yale School of Architecture, where he served as Dean from 1993 to 1998. Koetter also launched his firm’s London offices in 1988, which remained operational until 1995.

The former Codex Corporation headquarters in Massachusetts. Image courtesy Koetter Kim & Associates.

Koetter Kim & Associates has received ample recognition over the years for its designs. The firm received the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice Merit Award for Architectural Design in 2010 for its United States Courthouse project in Rockford, Illinois. In 2005, Koetter and his team won the Wilo von Moltke Award for Urban Design from the Boston Society of Architects in acknowledgment of the firm’s work on the East Bayfront in Toronto.

The University of Oregon, Koetter’s alma mater, bestowed him with the Ellis F. Lawrence Medal in 2010 for his outstanding career.