Education: B.A., Vassar College; M.Arch., Columbia University

Background: Karen Van Lengen is currently the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where she holds the Edward E. Elson Chair in Architecture. She practices architecture with her own firm in Charlottesville, VA. Van Lengen's work has been widely published and exhibited in the United States and abroad. In 1990, she won the prestigious America Memorial Library Competition in Berlin, Germany. She represented the United States as a Juror in the Spreebogen Competition for the new Government center in Berlin. Her practice includes residential, commercial and institutional work. From 1993-98 she was the library architect for Bobst Library at New York University. She is currently a design consultant for the United States Supreme Court in Washington. Her design work focuses on the relationship between design and culture, with the intention to bring competing interests and ambitions in dialogue with one another.
Van Lengen has taught at City College of New York, Columbia University, Cornell University (Gensler Chair), Notre Dame in Rome, Parsons School of Design (Chair of Architecture from 1995-99), University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Yale University, and in Germany. Princeton Architectural Press has recently commissioned her to co-write the Vassar College Campus Guide.
Van Lengen received her B.A. from Vassar College (cum laude with departmental honors in psychology), and a MArch from Columbia University. She was an Associate of I.M. Pei and Partners (Pei, Cobb, Freed and Partners) prior to forming her own firm in 1987. She has received numerous awards and citations for her design work. Fellowships include, an American Association of University Women Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship in Rome, and a William Kinney Fellowship from Columbia University. In addition to her architectural work she has exhibited her drawings in numerous group shows around the country.

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