July 15, 2014 Remembering Distinguished Architect, Alumnus Randall Stout

Randall Stout, an environmentally sensitive architect who earned a national reputation for designing dynamic, regional museums, died of cancer July 11 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 56.

Stout, who earned his bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Tennessee in 1981, was one of the college’s most distinguished alumni. His works are noted for their relationship between architecture and energy in holistic designs that are both masterful and sustainable.

He specialized in cultural projects, especially midsize museums. His portfolio included the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN; the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA; the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in Birmingham, AL; and the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Prior to founding his own Los Angeles-based firm, Randall Stout Architects, in 1996, he worked at the high-profile firms of Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Frank O. Gehry and Associates. At Gehry, where he was a senior associate for seven years, he contributed to such projects as the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA.

Stout discovered architecture in a high school drafting class, and developed a love for it while attending the University of Tennessee. While a student, Stout worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority in the architecture design department. He graduated and went on to earn a master’s degree in architecture from Rice University in Houston.

His architecture reflects the cultural and geographic influences of his native East Tennessee. His often curved buildings draw comparisons to the soft shapes of the Great Smoky Mountains of his childhood. Stout aimed to make each of his designs “respond to its place,” he once told an interviewer, and championed green buildings and energy-efficiency before they were common terms.

“He saw firsthand a lot of environmental damage done before the Clean Air and Clean Water acts,” said his brother, Steve Stout. It sealed his commitment to environmental stewardship from his earliest days as an architect.

Memorials may be made to a scholarship fund in Stout’s name, through the East Tennessee Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Joelle; their children Colton, Logan and Grace; his mother, Gloria Mynatt Stout; his sister, Marcie Stout Wasson; and his brother, Steve Stout.

Watch his 2009 UT lecture, “Environmental Alchemy,” to learn more about his legacy and approaches to design.

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R E L A T E D:

Randall Stout, Los Angeles architect known for being environmentally aware, dies at 56,” Washington Post, 20 Jul 2014. Online.

Randall Stout dies at 56; architect was early champion of green design,” Los Angeles Times, 18 Jul 2014. Online.

Randall Stout, Architect Tied to Nature, Dies at 56,” New York Times, 16 July 2014. Online.

Randall Stout, FAIA, 1958-2014,” Architect magazine, 15 Jul 2014. Online.