Alexander Cooper started his eponymous practice, Alexander Cooper Associates, in 1979, following a series of public service appointments. The office began with the master plan for Battery Park City, which reversed decades of misguided notions about city planning for the site and is considered one of the nation’s most successful urban neighborhoods.

As the firm’s influence continued to grow, Paul Goldberger wrote in the New York Times that Alex “might be the most influential architect in New York right now. Surely, no architect is having as much impact, not only on the design of individual buildings, but on the shape of wide swaths of the city.” Over nearly four decades, Alex Cooper has had a profound impact on the fabric of American cities, communities, waterfronts, and universities. In 2012, the AIA awarded him the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.

Alex’s classmate at Yale, longtime friend, and predecessor as Director of the Urban Design Group of the New York City Planning Department, Jaque Robertson, joined him in practice in 1986, forming Cooper, Robertson & Partners. Together, they expanded the firm’s range and scale of work. Their shared commitment to improving quality of life through the design of public spaces and buildings of lasting value yielded a stunningly diverse body of work that has earned more than one hundred design awards. Cooper Robertson was the first firm to receive national AIA awards in architecture and urban design in the same year.

Perhaps most importantly, together Alex and Jaque mentored generations of professionals, including the firm’s current leadership, who continue to expand the firm’s legacy in their own unique ways.