Susana Torre

Susana Torre is an architect and scholar based in New York City. She is currently building a residential project in the Coast of Almería, Spain, and writing the first English language comprehensive history of Architecture and Urbanism in Latin America, to be published by W.W. Norton. This project has received support from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Gallery of Art Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Studies, The Graham Foundation and The Getty Library.

Torre was the first woman to be invited to design a public building in Columbus, IN, a town known internationally for its collection of buildings designed by prominent American architects. Her architectural practice has encompassed all scales of design, from master planning to interiors. She has been a principal of a small design office and the partner in charge of design at WASA, an architecture and engineering firm with over 100 employees. Among her best known projects are Fire Station Five in Columbus, IN, the first to be designed specifically to integrate women in the firefighting force, and the Ellis Island master plan, to develop the island into a public park and cultural complex celebrating the immigrants’ contributions to American society. These and other award-winning designs have been published in the US, Latin America, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia and are included in standard reference sources such as Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture, Contemporary Masterworks, Contemporary Architects, Whitney Guide to 20th Century American Architecture: 200 Key Buildings and Dictionnaire de l’Architecture du Xxme. Siecle. Her work is represented in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art Study Collection, the Avery Centennial Collection of Columbia University and the International Archive of Women in Architecture. Design awards include those of The Architectural Record, The Architectural League of New York and The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter. Awards she received for research include those from The National Endowment for the Arts, USA (five times), The National Endowment for the Humanities, USA (twice), and the Fulbright Commission, USA.

Torre’s designs include master plans for the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (New York City), The Omega Institute (New York State), Cranbrook Academy of Art  (Bloomfield Hills, MI) and HNSE, one of the world’s largest metal recyclers (Jersey City, NJ); buildings and renovations for the Iron Workers Union in New York, Columbia University’s Wallach Fine Arts Center, Fordham University Rose Hill Campus’ Sesquicentennial Hall, the Montauk NY Public Library; and many residences in Long Island’s East End. Her most recent competition entries include proposals for the 9/11 Memorial in New York City and the Monument for the Third Millennium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Her academic career includes positions as Director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art (1994-95); Chair of the Parsons School of Design Architecture and Environmental Design Department (1991-94); Director of the Architecture Program at Barnard College, Columbia University (1982-85) and teaching design, history and theory at Columbia University, Yale University, New York University (USA); The University of Sydney (Australia); the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina); and Kassel University (Germany). Torre has been invited to lecture about her work at over 150 universities and professional associations worldwide.

In addition to editing a book on Women in American Architecture, and contributing several chapters, Torre was curator and designer of the traveling exhibition of the same name, which toured the US and Europe for an entire decade, and of another traveling exhibition on Hispanic Traditions in American Architecture.

Ms. Torre is a US citizen and a native of Argentina, living in New York since 1968.

  1. Photo by Mary Beth Edelson
  2. Photo by Mary Beth Edelson
  3. Photo by Mary Beth Edelson