Pamela Lucas Rew, FAIA, Partner at KSS Architects, will retire at the close of the 2020 calendar year. Over her 40-year career in architecture, Pam has been a visionary leader steadfast in building a creative, collaborative practice with design excellence at its core. Pam joined KSS in 1990, when it was a fledging local Princeton firm with a staff of 10. Over the past 30 years, Pam’s investment of her time and talent in KSS has helped grow the firm to a community of 80 passionate individuals in three offices with projects across the country. The continued growth and success of the firm is a testament to Pam’s unfailing drive, “What has kept me engaged for so long is a crazy deep passion, as an artist and a collaborator, to make places that are important and beautiful. In finding KSS, I found people and a place with values, talent, and drive, where I could learn, grow, and eventually contribute as a leader.”
Throughout her career, Pam has worked on a broad range of building typologies and cultivated specific expertise in cultural and higher education design. She is known for leading rich, collaborative processes to uncover the essence of a college or university and creating exceptional campus environments that capture that essence. Pam’s designs and relationships have led to a stream of projects at institutions across the country including Sarah Lawrence College, Cornell University, and Rowan University ,creating spaces that embody the heart and soul of each institution, transforming campus life in addition to the physical campus. Her work has changed the perception of how and where learning takes place and has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally through numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, ACUI, and other organizations. Pam is a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, recognized for her Design. She has closed out her career by receiving several AIA awards for the Remy Theatre, an adaptive reuse of a 1930s-built open-air amphitheater, an honor that pays tribute to the beauty of creating place in the open built environment.
Pam’s contributions and impact to KSS are immeasurable. Through her thoughtfulness, creativity, and constant curiosity Pam realized her everyday commitment to elevate design, whether on the biggest, most exciting project in the office or the smallest one. Partner Emeritus Allan Kehrt recalls, “Pam was always leading the charge to make things better and better, always pushing the design, and it was always better in the end.”
While steadfast in her work ethic and dedication to design, Pam was a pioneer in balancing work, family, and life. She credits the founding partners who supported her request to work four days a week when her girls were young at a time when such an arrangement was uncommon, and sees this commitment as the catalyst that paved the way for her, and those after her, to excel. Partner Mayva Donnon remarks, “Pam is a trailblazer. Through her leadership, she demonstrated how to be not just a woman in a male-dominated profession, but a mother of three children who is actively engaged in design. I have learned so much from watching Pam navigate motherhood and leadership, and now as a fellow mom of three I’m putting all those lessons to work.”
Pam has also played a significant role in shaping KSS through recruiting. Building on the foundation laid by the firm’s founding partners, Pam has striven to hire people with the talent, values, passion, and compassion to make the most of architecture. In doing so, Pam is proud to have helped create a continuum to KSS in its practice of architecture that will continue to thrive.
Pam has relished every moment of her 40-year career; in her retirement she plans to savor each moment with her three daughters and their families, and to find time and space to explore, to sketch, to read, to cook, and to see. “It is with fondness, appreciation, and heartfelt pride that I have spent the past 30 years as a member of KSS. I leave you to care for the values, talent, and potential of the firm as you move to the future, your opportunities to change lives and to be a steward of the built environment are immeasurable.” – Pamela Lucas Rew, FAIA