Building a Place for History
Dennis J. Kowal, AIA, received the first-ever Tesla Innovation Award this year for the design of the Lifelong Learning Center for which jurors said “this building is ahead of its time.” Clients range from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City to projects in eleven states and a couple of foreign countries. Therefore, comprehending and applying the local codes and ordinances are a daily occurrence at the Dennis Kowal Architects offices in Somerville, New Jersey. Creativity and codes have found a safe balance in the many built examples by Kowal over the past thirty years. Kowal has served as the President of the New Jersey International Facility Managers Association and the President of the Central Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Besides an active practice with current work in Bermuda, Virginia and New Jersey, Kowal is a keynote speaker and university instructor on healthy buildings. This past year he completed 100 live virtual training sessions teaching credentialed courses for students from Saudi Arabia to Australia. Kowal and some fellow graduate students established the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania (when none existed) through an independent study with the National Park Service Division of Historic Structures in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was able to work on Independence Hall, Carpenters Hall and Ben Franklin’s Market Street Houses. The Historic Building Materials museum he designed as a student in 1976 is still open to the public.