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Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

United Kingdom Architecture News - Dec 07, 2018 - 00:31   16836 views

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

British architect Richard Rogers has been named the 2019 Gold Medal, the AIA’s highest annual honor recognizing individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

Richard Rogers, founding principal of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, was praised for his renowned building known "for their detailing rigor, extreme flexibility and technology-driven sustainability." 

"Echoing the firm’s six guiding ideals of context, public realm, legibility, flexibility, energy and teamwork, the melding of craft and social mission resonate within every project," said a statement by the AIA.

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

Wimbledon House in London, formerly known as "Wimbledon House" or also known as "22 Parkside". Image © Iwan Baan

The Gold Medal honors an individual whose significant body of work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Rogers is being recognized as his influence on the built environment has redefined an architect’s responsibilities to society.

Rogers, 85, was born in Florence, Italy, the architect was trained as an architect in London at the Architectural Association School of Architecture and at Yale University. His outlook on the profession is as urbane as his early life and education. 

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

The Centre Pompidou was completed in 1977 in Paris, and designed with Renzo Piano. Image courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The Centre Pompidou was one of his earliest projects, which boasts themes that have become trademarks in his architecture since the mid-1960s. Structure, technology, and an eschewing of monumentalism commingle in what was envisioned as a cross between "an information-oriented computerized Times Square and the British Museum." 

The project shifted views on museums from elitist establishments to sites of social and cultural exchange deeply embedded in the heart of cities. Since then Rogers has proven himself as visionary a planner, urbanist, advocate, and humanist as he is an architect. In London, which arguably bears his strongest imprint, his plan for the city and life after the 2012 Olympics is a testament to his thoughtfulness, having survived the terms of two mayors with only minor modifications.

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

Lloyd’s Register in London, UK completed in 2000. Image courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

"Richard Rogers is a friend, a companion of adventures and life," wrote Piano in his support of Rogers’ nomination. 

"He also happens to be a great architect, and much more than that. He is a planner attracted by the complexity of cities and the fragility of earth; a humanist curious about everything (from art to music, people, communities, and food); an inexhaustible explorer of the world. And there is one more thing he could be: a poet."

His work has been celebrated with nearly every major architectural honor, including the 1985 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the 2006 and 2009 Stirling Prize and was named a Praemium Architecture Laureate by the Japan Art Association in 2000. In addition, Rogers was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 and sits as a Labour peer in the House of Lords.

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

3 World Trade Center completed in New York in 2018. Image © Joe Woolhead

Rogers' recent works include the celebrated Terminal 4 at Madrid’s Barajas Airport and the recently completed 3 World Trade Center, display Rogers’ mastery of large urban buildings coupled with his brand of architectural expression. His projects engage the public and inspire occupants to consider how they perceive space.

"We know that architecture is a discipline of enormous political and social consequence," Lord Peter Palumbo of Walbrook wrote of Rogers. 

"And today we celebrate Richard Rogers, a humanist who reminds us that architecture is the most social of arts. Throughout his long, innovative careers, Rogers shows us that, perhaps, the architect’s most lasting role is that of a good citizen of the world."

Over a career that has spanned five decades, Rogers has been the personification of an ideal architect: an incredibly talented designer whose work has had profound and lasting impact on the people and communities he has served.

Richard Rogers awarded with 2019 AIA Gold Medal

Bordeaux Law Courts completed in Bordeaux, France in 1998. Image © Christian Richters

The 2019 Advisory Jury composed of: Kelly M. Hayes-McAlonie, FAIA, Chair, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, Dan Hart, FAIA, Parkhill Smith & Cooper, Inc., Midland, Texas, Lori Krejci, AIA, Avant Architects, Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Pamela R. Moran, Albemarle County Public Schools, Charlottesville, Virginia, Antoine Predock, FAIA, Antoine Predock Architects, Albuquerque, New Mexico, David B. Richards, FAIA, Rossetti, Detroit, Michigan, Emily A. Roush-Elliott, AIA, Delta DB, Greenwood, Mississippi, Rafael Viñoly-Menendez, AIA, LMN Architects, Seattle, Washington.

Rogers is the 75th recipient of the Gold Medal. The architect will receive his award at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas, which will be held between June 6-8, 2019.

In 2017, James Stewart Polshek was awarded 2018 AIA Gold Medal. 

Top image: Richard Rogers. Image © A. Zuckerman

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