Wednesday, 28 September 2011

2011 UIA Gold Medal goes to Siza Vieira

The Portuguese architect was awarded with one more distinction to join the vast collection that he already has on his shelves. This time was the UIA (Union Internationale des Architectes) which gives this award every three years during its Congress, this year held in Nanjing, China.
This medal was created in 1984 with the goal of being an equivalent to the existing Nobel Prize for other areas. The prize is totally independent from national or private interests and it’s given to a living architect in “recognition of his achievements and contributions made throughout his life and career to the benefit of man and society, and the promotion of the art of architecture.”

The Gold Medal has been honoured to names like Hassan Fathy (Egypt, 1984), Charles Correa (India, 1990), Rafael Moneo (Spain, 1996), Renzo Piano (Italy, 2002) or Tadao Ando (Japan, 2005).
The name of Siza Vieira was proposed by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), and the jury justified the decision saying that “Álvaro Siza defies categorisation. Each building is different yet is recognisable. His architecture cannot be duplicated but is a model for young architects. He has never succumbed to facility or fashion. As “the architect“ of the last quarter of the 20th century his work continues into the 21st, constantly pushing forward the level of the challenges facing the profession.
From the Portuguese Embassy in Tokyo the architect declared that “(the award) is a big pleasure (…) But it will not change anything on his life or in his vision of the world as a professional. The awards bring one some joy, they are also a way of getting to know ourselves better.”

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