David Scott Slovic, 77, of Philadelphia, a prominent architect who designed a number of buildings around the city, died July 23, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.
Born in Chicago in 1941, Mr. Slovic earned an undergraduate degree in fine arts and philosophy from Cornell University and a master’s in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He won the Paul Cret Gold Medal for Design in 1966 and took a job that same year, after he graduated, with the famed architect Louis Kahn.
In 1970, Mr. Slovic co-found Friday Architects/Planners with Donald and Arlene Matzkin. He opened his own firm, David Slovic & Associates, in 1980. Mr. Slovic also held the Henry Luce professorship at Tulane University. He was among the leading architects of the postmodernist period, according to Thomas Hine, a longtime architecture, design, and art critic at the Inquirer.
“One of David’s greatest strengths was the use of decoration and pattern,” Hine said. “After the first wave of postmodernists, whimsical and decorative elements started coming back into architecture. On a national level, David and his partners at Friday were very notable as the second wave of postmodernists.”
Mr. Slovic helped design the Old Pine Community Center in Society Hill, which features a distinctive tile floor, as well as public housing on 39th Street,and the Moravian Food Court at 3401 Walnut St. (He went on to design many food courts in malls across the country.)
In 1993, Mr. Slovic and his wife, Ligia, designed the Latimer House, an unconventional home modeled after courtyard houses found in Latin America and Europe. The house stands out on Latimer Street because of its bunker-like exterior, but inside, the building is a visually striking space filled with light centered on a bamboo-fringed courtyard.
During a talk he gave in 2010, Mr. Slovic described the home as “a sculpture big enough to walk through.” The couple filled the house with their extensive art collection.
Outside of architecture, Mr. Slovic enjoyed photography and fine arts. He had a number of exhibitions at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Venice Biennale, Yale University, and the Delaware Museum of Contemporary Art. He loved teaching and doted on his children, his wife said.
“He was an extremely generous man with a good heart,” she said. “He took our kids to concerts often because they enjoyed listening to music together. He was a very accepting person.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Slovic is survived by a son, Avram; a daughter, Priscille Voekler; three grandchildren; and two brothers.
Plans for a memorial service in September are pending.
Memorial donations may be made to either the Fleisher Art Memorial, 719 Catharine St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147, or Planned Parenthood.