Pompidou and Circumstance

Richard Rogers wins the 2019 AIA Gold Medal

Architecture Awards International National News
Richard Rogers looking at a model of the Lloyd's Building. (Courtesy Domus)
Richard Rogers looking at a model of the Lloyd's Building. (Courtesy Domus)

Lord Richard Rogers, honorary FAIA, has been awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2019 Gold Medal, the highest honor the institution offers.

In recognizing the English architect’s storied career, which spans more than 50 years, the AIA singled out Rogers’s Centre Pompidou in Paris (a collaboration with Renzo Piano), whose massive popularity kickstarted the high-tech style. The cultural complex was praised for its functional transparency and rejection of monumentality, hallmarks of Rogers’s that the AIA notes continued throughout his career.

Rogers’s continued commitment to solving social, urban, and environmental issues through design, and his political activism were also praised. His continued impact on the skyline of London and New York, and approach to human-oriented urbanism, were singled out by the jury in particular as well.

“He is the quintessential builder, committed to mastering the craft and technology of construction, harnessing it towards efficient buildings, and forging an expressive architectural language,” wrote Moshe Safdie, in a show of support for Rogers’s nomination. “Before it was fashionable, he was an environmentalist, who recognized early in his career the challenges of energy and climate, developing innovative solutions.”

“Richard Rogers is a friend, a companion of adventures and life,” wrote Piano, who also supported Rogers’s 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.”

Rogers has seen his fair share of awards, including the 2007 Pritzker, a RIBA Gold Medal in 1985, and a RIBA Stirling prize in both 2006 and 2009.

The AIA jury was composed of the following members:

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, AIA, LMN Architects, Seattle, Washington

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