William Pedersen is the founding design partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), which he started with A. Eugene Kohn and Sheldon Fox in 1976. Fourteen years later, KPF became the youngest firm to receive the National AIA Firm Award for design excellence.
Personal honors Bill received include the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1965, the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize from the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the University of Minnesota’s Alumni Achievement Award, the Gold Medal from the national architectural fraternity, Tau Sigma, the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and the Medal of Honor from the AIA of New York. He was also elected as a member of the National Academy and awarded the International Award by The Society of American Registered Architects (SARA).
Bill received the AIA National Honor Award seven times in recognition of the following projects: 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois (1984); the Procter & Gamble World Headquarters in Cincinnati (1987); the World Bank in Washington D.C. (1998); the New Academic Complex, City University of New York/Baruch College (2003); Westendstrasse 1/DG Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany (1994); the Gannett Headquarters in Virginia (2005), and One Jackson Square in New York (2011). Bill’s Shanghai World Financial Center was honored as Best Tall Building in the World by the CTBUH in 2008.
Other major projects include the Aid Association for Lutherans in Appleton Wisconsin, the Goldman Sachs Headquarters in London, 1250 Rene Levesque in Montreal, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the First Hawaiian Bank in Honolulu, the Portland Federal Courthouse, the United States Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis, the IBM Headquarters in Armonk, the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo, Japan, the Posteel Tower in Seoul, Korea, Tour CBX in Paris, Nihonbashi 1-Chome in Tokyo, Japan, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Hong Kong, Samsung Electronic Headquarters in Seoul, the Buffalo Federal Courthouse, INCS Zero Factory in Nagano, Japan, the CUNY Advanced Science Research Centers in New York, The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota Science Teaching and Student Services Center, McCord Hall, Arizona State University, the Otemachi Tower in Tokyo, Japan, and Hudson Yards in New York.
Of particular concern to Bill has been the development of what he calls the “fundamental building block of the modern city,” the high-rise commercial office building. Throughout his career, he systematically sought ways for buildings of this seemingly-mundane type to gesture and connect to other participants so that each does not stand mutely in isolation from its neighbors, but rather joins them in an active architectural conversation.
Bill lectured internationally and served on academic and professional juries and symposia. He was on the Board of the University of Minnesota Foundation and was a visiting professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia University, and Harvard University. He has held the Eero Saarinen Chair at Yale University and has also been the Otis Lecturer in Japan. In 1989, he was honored as the Herbert S. Greenward Distinguished Professor in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has degrees in architecture from the University of Minnesota and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.