I am saddened to learn about the passing of my friend, the gifted architect Gyo Obata.

The son of renowned painter Chiura Obata and floral decorator Haruko Obata, he was born in San Francisco in 1923. Gyo was one of the most influential architects of our time, and a great inspiration to all who knew him. He co-founded HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum) and designed many buildings of international acclaim, including the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and Sendai International Airport in Japan (among many others).

His legacy stands tall in Missouri where he designed imaginative modernist structures such as the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the Saint Louis Science Center, the Abbey Church, and the Independence Temple. To date, some of my proudest work was the collaboration Gyo and I did on Centene Plaza in Clayton. The tower and plaza remain a tribute to his love for simple lines and his desire to bring meaning and joy through his work. Read more about his incredible career in this article.

I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones. Let’s continue to honor his memory and pay tribute to his incredible legacy. Rest well, my friend.