John C. Portman, Jr. Wins AHA Lifetime Achievement Award

ATLANTA—The Atlanta Hospitality Alliance (AHA) today announced that it has presented John C. Portman, Jr. with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the overall architectural look and feel of Atlanta, particularly in the hotel sector. The award ceremony was held during AHA’s spring meeting at the new Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown, designed by Portman and operated by Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), an Atlanta-based, private hotel ownership and management company.

“Atlanta would be a very different city without the vision of John C. Portman Jr., and the hotel industry would be much more drab,” said David Marvin, president of AHA. “Having designed and built some of this city’s most iconic buildings and hotels, including the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Peachtree Center, SunTrust Plaza and Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Mr. Portman literally has helped architecturally reshape ‘southern hospitality.’ We can think of no better recipient for this inaugural honor.”

Known for his signature mix of modernism and brutalism, highlighted by massive atriums and long, glassy elevators, Portman’s buildings can be found in 60 cities on four continents, helping redefine cityscapes in America, and skylines in China and the rest of Asia. In addition to his Atlanta work, Portman is responsible for such diverse projects as 151 Incheon Tower in South Korea, the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, the Marquis Theater in Manhattan and the iconic Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.


“I am honored to have been chosen by the Atlanta Hospitality Alliance for this special recognition and doubly honored that you showcased JP Atlanta and the Hotel Indigo by hosting your event there,” noted John Portman, chairman, The Portman Companies.

Born Dec. 4, 1924 in Walhalla, S.C., Portman opened his Atlanta-based architectural firm, known today as John Portman and Associates, in 1953. The firm is part of the Portman Family of Companies, which also includes Portman Holdings, a real estate development company, and AmericasMart, a home décor wholesaler. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the 1978 Medal for Innovations in Hotel Design—National American Institute of Architects; 1980 Silver Medal Award for Innovative Design—Atlanta Chapter, American Institute of Architects; 1984 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence—for Embarcadero Center; 2009 The Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award – Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; and the 2013 Four Pillar Award—Council for Quality Growth. In 2011, the Atlanta City Council renamed Harris Street in Downtown Atlanta as John Portman Boulevard at Historic Harris Street. He graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1950.

“Mr. Portman has a true passion for creating spaces that are meaningful and impactful for people,” said Charles Pinkham, vice president of development, Portman Holdings, LLC. “He focuses on creating experiences, and the architecture evolves from that vision.”