Ohio building designer David Lenox named university architect

David Lenox

David Lenox

The Land and Buildings department announced this week that David Lenox, a veteran building designer from Ohio, has accepted a position as the new university architect. He begins in March.

This will be Lenox's last week in the Columbus, Ohio, office of NBBJ, the nation's third largest design practice, according to the firm. Lenox recently headed design work on buildings at Ohio University and Ohio State University, and oversaw designs for a 600,000-square-foot commercial building in Moscow.

"I'm really excited about this," Lenox said of becoming the top in-house architect at Stanford. "It's got a rich tradition of integrating the exterior spaces and the architecture of the buildings. And I look forward to reinforcing that."

His predecessor, David Neuman, spent 14 years on the Farm before leaving in 2003 for a position as architect for the University of Virginia. During the interim, H. Ruth Todd has served as associate university architect, just as reorganization throughout Land and Buildings has resulted in new roles and departments.

Prior to conducting a nationwide search, Bob Reidy, vice provost for land and buildings, evaluated current staff and their roles and then created two departments: Environmental and Community Planning, and Campus Planning and Design. Charles Carter had been acting director of the University Architect and Planning Office during the reorganization.

Carter is now director of Environmental and Community Planning, and Lenox will be director of Campus Planning and Design, as well as university architect. An eight-month search was conducted by a committee consisting of Carter; Reidy; Bill Phillips, managing director of real estate at the Stanford Management Company; Sandy Meyer, facilities coordinator in the School of Engineering; Jack Cleary, director of the Department of Project Management; and Gary Rotzin, associate vice provost for projects in Land and Buildings.

"It was important to search for a design professional that could both manage a group of planning professionals and also fill the dual role of university architect," Reidy said. "What tipped the scales were Dave's strengths in design, his team approach to solving design problems and his interpersonal skills."

Lenox has been a principal at NBBJ since 1997 and leads an interdisciplinary team of 40 architects, designers and planners who work across industry sectors. Most of Lenox's experience is in corporate and commercial design, followed by work in the health care and academic sectors.

Lenox received a bachelor's degree in environmental design from Miami University in 1981 and a master's degree in architecture from Ohio State University five years later. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and served as an adjunct professor at Ohio State from 1986 to 1988.

At Stanford, Lenox will report to Reidy. The 45-year-old upstate New York native will live on campus and says his experience in designing health care and corporate campuses will serve him well on the Farm—where building designs must be consistent and yet compact to make the best use of limited space.

"Now and in the future, we will need to embrace the benefits of compact urban development while solving the challenges that increasing density demands," Reidy said. "We believe Dave is the right person to lead us to the correct design solutions."