AIA Gold Medal 2016
Robert Venturi & Denise Scott Brown
The partners have won the AIA Gold Medal, becoming the first duo ever to receive an award heretofore reserved for individual architects. The prestigious medal is conferred annually by the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects, and this year’s jury has decided to honor the career of the American couple, highlighting how they have “changed the way we look at buildings and cities,” and how “anything that is great in architecture today has been influenced in one way or another by their work.” Scott Brown, born in 1931 in Northern Rhodesia (current Zambia) and Venturi, born in 1925 in Philadelphia, founded their studio in 1967. The large number of works carried out by the firm includes different types, from large university campuses to housing, via hospitals or monuments, including influential buildings like the extension of the National Gallery in London or the Philadelphia Orchestra Hall. However their main contribution is theoretical, with key works that are essential to understanding architecture in the second half of the 20th century, like Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture and Learning from Las Vegas.