RIBA Gold Medal, Architects – Winner

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RIBA Gold Medal – Winner

Royal Institute of British Architects Award, England, UK

25 Feb 2014

Joseph Rykwert : Royal Gold Medal Winner

The Winner of the Royal Gold Medal for architecture for 2014
Joseph Rykwert receives the 2014 Royal Gold Medal for architecture

The celebrated architectural critic, historian and writer Joseph Rykwert has this evening (Tuesday 25 February) been presented with the 2014 Royal Gold Medal, one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards.

Joseph Rykwert
Joseph Rykwert Royal Gold Medal
photograph : Pawel Mazurl CC Krakow

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Joseph Rykwert is a world-leading authority on the history of art and architecture; his groundbreaking ideas and work have had a major impact on the thinking of architects and designers since the 1960s and continue to do so to this day.

His seminal book The Idea of a Town (1963) remains the pivotal text on understanding why and how cities were and can be formed. He has written numerous influential works of architectural criticism and history, published over a sixty-year period and translated into several languages. The most significant of these are On Adam’s House in Paradise (1972), The First Moderns (1980), The Necessity of Artifice (1982), The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture (1996), and The Seduction of Place (2002); all have changed the way modern architects and planners think about cities and buildings, and how historians view the architectural roots of the modern era.

Rykwert’s works have influenced generations of architects with many either having been taught by him directly or taught in a school where his influence has had a profound effect on a department’s teaching. Distinguished architects David Chipperfield, Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano are amongst the previous Royal Gold Medallists who have personally supported Joseph’s nomination.

Joseph Rykwert said about his selection for the Royal Gold Medal:

“If we all had our desserts’, the poet asked, ‘who would scape a whipping?’ Certainly not I. So I can’t think of a Gold Medal as my dessert. It is a wonderful gift which my colleagues have made me and adds weight and authority to my words to which they could never otherwise pretend.

“What makes the gift doubly precious is that it does not come from my fellow-scriveners, but from architects and builders – and suggests that what I have written has engaged their attention and been of use, even though I have never sought to be impartial but have taken sides, sometimes combatively. So I feel both elated and enormously grateful.”

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said;

“The recognition of Joseph with this prestigious award is long overdue; that it has gone to a man whose writings have provided inspiration to so many who practice in the heart of our cities, gives me particular personal pleasure. Joseph’s writing and teaching are rare in that he can deliver the most profound thinking on architecture in an accessible way. All our lives are the richer for it.”

Born in Warsaw in 1926, Joseph Rykwert is a naturalized British citizen. He has held a number of university teaching posts in Britain and the United States. He is currently Paul Philippe Cret Professor of Architecture Emeritus and was Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joseph Rykwert has lectured or taught at most of the world’s major schools of architecture and has held visiting appointments at Princeton, the Cooper Union, New York, Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Sydney, Louvain, the Institut d’Urbanisme, Paris, the Central European University and others. He has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, Washington and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities.

In 1984, he was appointed Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, the University of Cordoba, Argentina, the University of Bath, Toronto and Trieste and Rome, and is a member of the Italian Accademia di San Luca and the Polish Academy. In 2000, he was awarded the Bruno Zevi prize in architectural history by the Biennale of Venice and in 2009 the Gold Medal Bellas Artes, Madrid. He has been president of the international council of architectural critics (CICA) since 1996.

He joins previous theorists and largely non-practitioners to have been honoured with the Royal Gold Medal including Colin Rowe (1995), Sir John Summerson (1976) and Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1967).

18 Sep 2013

Royal Gold Medal for architecture winner in 2013

The Winner of the Royal Gold Medal for architecture for 2014

Joseph Rykwert to receive the 2014 Royal Gold Medal for architecture

The celebrated architectural critic, historian and writer Joseph Rykwert has been named today (Wednesday 18 September) as the recipient of the 2014 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Joseph Rykwert is a world-leading authority on the history of art and architecture; his groundbreaking ideas and work have had a major impact on the thinking of architects and designers since the 1960s and continue to do so to this day.

His seminal book The Idea of a Town (1963) remains the pivotal text on understanding why and how cities were and can be formed. He has written numerous influential works of architectural criticism and history, published over a sixty-year period and translated into several languages. The most significant of these are On Adam’s House in Paradise (1972), The First Moderns (1980), The Necessity of Artifice (1982), The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture (1996), and The Seduction of Place (2002); all have changed the way modern architects and planners think about cities and buildings, and how historians view the architectural roots of the modern era.

Rykwert’s works have influenced generations of architects with many either having been taught by him directly or taught in a school where his influence has had a profound effect on a department’s teaching. Distinguished architects David Chipperfield, Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano are amongst the previous Royal Gold Medallists who have personally supported Joseph’s nomination.

Joseph Rykwert said about his selection for the Royal Gold Medal:

“If we all had our desserts’, the poet asked, ‘who would scape a whipping?’ Certainly not I. So I can’t think of a Gold Medal as my dessert. It is a wonderful gift which my colleagues have made me and adds weight and authority to my words to which they could never otherwise pretend.

“What makes the gift doubly precious is that it does not come from my fellow-scriveners, but from architects and builders – and suggests that what I have written has engaged their attention and been of use, even though I have never sought to be impartial but have taken sides, sometimes combatively. So I feel both elated and enormously grateful.”

Joseph Rykwert
Joseph Rykwert Royal Gold Medal
photograph : Pawel Mazurl CC Krakow

7 Feb 2013

Peter Zumthor wins Royal Gold Medal for architecture

Peter Zumthor is presented with the Royal Gold Medal for architecture

The world renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor last night (Wednesday 6 February 2013) received one of the world’s most prestigious architecture prizes, the Royal Gold Medal at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London. He was presented with the medal by RIBA President Angela Brady, in the presence of over 200 guests.

Peter Zumthor
Peter Zumthor Royal Gold Medal
photograph : Morley von Sternberg

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Known for running a small yet powerful and uncompromising practice, Peter Zumthor founded his award-winning firm in 1979 in Switzerland. His most celebrated projects include the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, the Therme Vals (thermal baths) in Vals, Switzerland and the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne. He designed London’s 2011 Serpentine Pavilion and is currently designing a house in Devon for philosopher Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture architect-designed holiday home scheme.

He is exceptionally talented at creating highly atmospheric spaces through his mastery of light and choice of materials. Zumthor’s buildings, such as his small rural chapels and the Thermal Baths at Vals, are an experience for all the senses, with every detail reinforcing the essence of the building and its surroundings.

RIBA President Angela Brady, who chaired the Honours Committee which selected the Royal Gold Medal winner said,
“Peter Zumthor’s work renews the link with a tradition of modern architecture that emphasises place, community and material practice. His writings dwell upon the experience of designing, building and inhabitation while his buildings are engaged in a rich dialogue with architectural history. I will be delighted to present him with the Royal Gold Medal.”

Peter Zumthor will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at a ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, during which the 2013 RIBA International and Honorary Fellowships will also be presented.

This year’s RIBA Honours Committee was chaired by RIBA President Angela Brady with architects Peter Clegg, Yvonne Farrell, Professor Adrian Forty, Niall McLaughlin and Sarah Wigglesworth.

27 Sep 2012

Royal Gold Medal for architecture

Peter Zumthor to receive the Royal Gold Medal for architecture

Peter Zumthor
Peter Zumthor
photograph : Gerry Ebner

RIBA Gold Medal 2013 : further information – the full citation
Kolumba Diocesan Museum Cologne
picture © Breun

RIBA Gold Medal Past Winners

Herman Hertzberger to receive the 2012 Royal Gold Medal for architecture

RIBA Gold Medal 2012 : Herman Hertzberger
Herman Hertzberger Architect
photo © Hans van den Bogaard

RIBA Gold Medal 2011 : David Chipperfield
Neues Museum
photograph : Ute Zscharnt

RIBA Gold Medal 2010 : I M Pei
Museum of Islamic Art Doha
photo : Courtesy of the Museum of Islamic Art

RIBA Gold Medal 2009 : Alvaro Siza
Alvaro Siza
photo : Courtesy of RIAS

Established in 1848, the Royal Gold Medal is given in recognition of a lifetime’s contribution to architecture. The Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is awarded annually to a person or group of people whose influence on architecture has had a truly international effect.

Previous winners include Sir Edwin Lutyens, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, Toyo Ito, Herzog and de Meuron, Alvaro Siza and I. M. Pei.

RIBA Gold Medal 2008

Winners of the RIBA Gold Medal will be added over the years


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

RIBA Royal Gold Medal Winners

2010: I M Pei
2009: Alvaro Siza
2008: Ted Cullinan Architect
2007: Herzog and de Meuron Architects
2006: Toyo Ito
2005: Frei Otto – architect/engineer
2004: Rem Koolhaas
2003: Rafael Moneo
2002: Archigram – visionary architects
2001: Jean Nouvel
2000: Frank Gehry
1999: City of Barcelona
1998: Oscar Niemeyer
1997: Tadao Ando
1996: Harry Seidler
1995: Colin Rowe – theoretician
1994: Michael & Patricia Hopkins
1993: Giancarlo de Carlo
1992: Peter Rice – engineer
1991: Colin Stansfield Smith
1990: Aldo van Eyck
1989: Renzo Piano
1988: Richard Meier
1987: Ralph Erskine
1986: Arata Isozaki
1985: Richard Rogers
1984: Charles Correa
1983: Norman Foster
1982: Berthold Lubetkin
1981: Philip Dowson
1980: James Stirling
1979: Charles & Ray Eames
1978: Jorn Utzon
1977: Denys Lasdun
1976: John Summerson – writer
1975: Michael Scott
1974: Powell & Moya
1973: Leslie Martin
1972: Louis Kahn
1971: Hubert de Cronin Hastings
1970: Robert Matthew
1969: Jack Coia
1968: Buckminster Fuller – architect/engineer
1967: Nikolaus Pevsner – writer
1966: Ove Arup – engineer
1965: Kenzo Tange
1964: Max Fry
1963: Lord Holford
1962: Sven Gottfried Markelius
1961: Lewis Mumford
1960: Pier Luigi Nervi
1959: Mies van der Rohe
1958: Robert Schofield Morris
1957: Alvar Aalto
1956: Walter Gropius
1955: John Murray Easton
1954: Arthur George Stephenson
1953: Le Corbusier

RIBA Royal Gold Medal – key winners from the past

1950: Eliel Saarinen
1941: Frank Lloyd Wright
1940: Charles Voysey
1925: Sir Giles Gilbert Scott
1921: Edwin Lutyens
1916: Robert Rowand Anderson
1886: Charles Garnier
1877: Charles Barry
1859: George Gilbert Scott
1848: CR Cockerell

RIBA Awards

RIBA Stirling Prize
MAXXI Rome
photo : Roland Halbe

RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner 2006 : Toyo Ito Architects

RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner 2007 : Herzog and de Meuron Architects

Comments / photos for the RIBA Gold Medal page welcome

RIBA Gold Medal Winners – page

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