Gold Medal of the Venice Biennial 2008


Frank Gehry

The 11th Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by the Dutch critic Aaron Betsky under the title ‘Out There:?Architecture Beyond Building’, awarded its Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Frank Gehry, for his role in the transformation of modern architecture. As Betsky wrote: “He has liberated it from the confines of the ‘box’ and the constraints of common building practices. As experimental as the art practices that have been his inspiration, Frank Gehry’s architecture is the very modern model for an architecture beyond building”. The 79-year-old Californian architect, whose first work in Italy will be the Venice Gateway, a link by water between the city and the airport, is known for the design of curved buildings of sculptural, folded and organic forms like the Vitra Museum in?Weil am Rhein (1989), the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997) or the Marqués de Riscal Hotel and Winery in?Elciego, La?Rioja Alavesa (2006), projects that mark a clear contrast with the straight lines of contemporary architecture. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of Palladio’s birth, the board also awarded the Golden Lion to the historian James Ackerman.

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