Leaders that help talent shine


Principal in Charge of Design

Some architects have a preconceived notion of what a building should be — they design from the outside like the building is a piece of sculpture. I prefer to patiently search through extensive discovery until I find a seam somewhere, crack it open and discover the art inside.


Curtis Fentress is internationally recognized for his design portfolio. His buildings grace the skylines of cities around the world, and are visited by over 550 million people each year. Known for his “Patient Search,” Fentress employs a meticulous process of design. 

In 2010, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored Fentress with the highest award for public architecture, the Thomas Jefferson Award, recognizing “a portfolio of accomplishments that evidences great depth while making a significant contribution to the quality of public architecture.” He was also awarded the highest honor from the AIA Western Mountain Region, the 2010 Silver Medal for “significant contributions to the profession and the citizens of the region, and transcending local boundaries in making these contributions.”  He was inducted into the AIA College of Fellows in 1996, and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Curtis Fentress was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. He discovered a passion for design in high school, and gravitated to classes in drafting and engineering. He went on to graduate with honors from North Carolina State University College of Design, where he was awarded an AIA-AIAF Fellowship, a Graham Foundation Fellowship, and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal – the highest honor bestowed on a designer by an architectural school. In 2010, North Carolina State University celebrated his achievements with the “Distinguished Alumni Award.”

After graduation Fentress joined the New York firm of I.M. Pei and Partners where he worked on several international projects, including the Raffles Place Center in Singapore. From there he joined the newly-established firm of Kohn Pedersen Fox of New York, where he was Project Designer for the Amoco Building in Denver, Colorado. His work on the Amoco Building earned him recognition as Building Design and Construction Magazine’s “Young Professional of the Year,” and in January of 1980, Curtis Fentress established his own studio. Today, Fentress Architects has five international studios and a team of 150 professionals.