Butzer - Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture


Hans E. Butzer, FAIA

Hans E. Butzer


University of Texas at Austin
B. Arch.

Harvard University
M. Arch.




Collaborative Practice

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Hans E. Butzer is an award-winning architect and educator and co-founder of Butzer Architects and Urbanism (BAU), together with his wife Torrey A. Butzer, Assoc. AIA. Butzer is best known for his role in the design of key public sites in Oklahoma City, his civic engagement and advocacy, and his role as an educator and leader at the University of Oklahoma. His work has been awarded fifteen awards from the AIA and ASLA. His work has been celebrated among the 10 best designs of 2000 by Time Magazine and listed among the “Top 50 Best Public Art Projects” by Public Art Network Year in Review by Americans for the Arts. The Dallas Morning News twice listed the Oklahoma City National Memorial among the “Ten Best Designs”—once in 1997 and again after completion in 2000.

Butzer was raised in Wisconsin and Chicago but always had a foothold in Germany, where his parents were born and where he spent summers as a child. This early international experience helped Butzer develop an appreciation for the subtle ways in which different cultures shape their environments. Butzer’s attention to place was also framed by seeing the world through the lens of his parents, one a physical geographer and the other an anthropologist. Family field trips took Butzer through the glacially formed landscapes of the upper Midwest while nearly a third of his childhood was spent in Europe. There, he experienced a range of cultures and their built expressions across varied landscapes. “Place” could be defined with topographies of landscape, materially built form and cultural identities over time. Butzer’s understanding of service, community and ethics grew out of his family’s broader history. While his father’s family fled Nazi Germany via England to Montreal Canada in the 1930’s, Butzer’s mother survived nightly bombing raids over Bonn. His parents would emphasize the importance of civic duty, maintaining a clear sense of right and wrong, and the power of diversity. One’s work should contribute to a greater sense of understanding, Butzer concluded, and thereby to a community’s sense of unity, shared values and common ground over time.

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Professional Credentials

Registered Architect, Oklahoma

Member, American Institute of Architects

LEED Accredited Professional

Architekten Kammer Nordrhein-Westfalen

Selected Exhibitions + Presentations

Butzer, H. E., “City of Yukon Form-Based Code Gateway Plan,” Yukon, OK. (2014).

Butzer, H. E., “Page Woodson Elementary School Redevelopment,” Oklahoma City, OK. (2014).

Butzer, H. E., “Oklahoma City Skydance Bridge.” (2014).

Butzer, H. E., National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds Convention, “The Importance of Place: Resilience of Community in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma City, OK. (November 13, 2014).

Butzer, H. E., Creating_Making Conference, “8 Sessions-1 Purpose,” University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. (November 6, 2014).

Butzer, H. E. (Presenter), Urban Land Institute Oklahoma District Council, “9+1 Connecting Ideas and Places over Time,” Oklahoma City, OK. (October 2, 2014).


American Institute of Architects Merit Award, AIA Oklahoma. (Oct. 2018)

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award, National Trust for Historic Preservation. (Oct. 2018)

Outstanding Plan, American Planning Association-Oklahoma Chapter. (Sept. 2018)

State Preservation Award, Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office. (June 2018)

American Institute of Architects Honor Award, American Institute of Architects. (2014).

Top 30 most Admired Educators, Design Intelligence. (December 2014).

Selected Publications

Pilat, S. Z., Butzer, H. E., Person, A. M. (2020). Introduction. Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture. OU Press. (In Press)

Ramseyer, C., Butzer, H. E. (2014). “Reaching for the Sky.” Structure Magazine, 67.