Paul Matt, 85, who died on June 30, had a 65-year career building more than 450 structures, including Southern California icons such as the Skirball Cultural Center, The Broad, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills and the Wilshire Boulevard Temple restoration.
“My father loved his work and the people he collaborated with,” said Steve Matt, CEO of MATT Construction, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., in a statement. “During his recent battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he continued to apply his amazing passion for building.” After working 22 years at C.L. Peck and joining the firm’s board of directors, Paul Matt left to co-found MATT Construction in 1991. Last year, he told ENR that he formed his fledgling company around the idea that, if a project is “difficult to build or even close to impossible to build, there’s not going to be many people competing for it.”
In 2015, Matt won the ENR California Legacy Award. In a nomination letter for the award, architect Moshe Safdie wrote, “Matt brings unique qualities to the collaboration between contractor, architect, engineer and owner.” Further, Matt “invests in an effort to understand the project’s objectives and comes forward with innovations which are both effective and economical,” Safdie added.
To cite one example, Matt employed experimental mock-ups and new forming methods to deliver the Louis Kahn-designed Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla.