Architecture + Design

As a cornerstone of Utah’s design community throughout his life, the extensive impact of John Sugden’s work—both as an architect and a teacher—remains overtly clear when examining this state’s catalog of celebrated buildings. From serene residential retreats to masterful public spaces, Sugden’s compositions reflect both his mastery over modern materials and his prestigious training under one-time Bauhaus director Mies van der Rohe. From entering World War II on a pair of skis with the 10th Mountain Division to a famed afternoon spent palling around Chicago with Jackson Pollock, Sugden’s personal life was as significant and culturally rich as the legacy he leaves behind.

Dates: 1922-2003

Schooling: Illinois Institute of Technology

Basic Style/Ideology: Sugden’s work, in many respects, is akin to that of the Bauhaus masters under whom he studied. Simple forms, rigorous technical precision, a dedication to transparency, and proclivity for industrial materials like glass and concrete can be observed in all of Sugden’s projects as he sought to continue to refine an architectural style for the modern age.

Notable Structures: The Siegel House, the Roberta Sugden House, the J.J. Studio, and portions of Alta Resort’s ski lodge.

Good To Know: As a student at IIT, Sugden assisted on some of Mies van der Rohe’s most iconic projects including the Seagram Building in New York City and the now world-renowned Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois.

In addition to his architectural practice, Sugden spent over 15 years as a professor at the University of Utah’s School of Architecture.

Roberta Sugden House - photos courtesy of Phil Erickson
Emigration Canyon Studio - photos courtesy of Mony Ty/Coldwell Banker
The Siegel House - photos courtesy of Preservation Utah
The J.J. Studio - photos courtesy of the Utah Center for Architecture

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