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Grimshaw, RIBA Gold Medal 2019

The Praise of ‘High Tech’


In the 1970s, technocratic modernity found in the UK a fertile field that bore fruit in the form, already as high-tech, of works by stars like Foster and Rogers, but also by an outstanding cast of supporting actors, among whom the most gifted was perhaps Nicholas Grimshaw. Now, in recognition of his lifetime practice, the RIBA gives Grimshaw its gold medal, specifically acknowledging the importance of two at once technological and figurative achievements of his: the Eden Project in Cornwall, whose biomimetic domes of steel and ETFA were an unexpected updating of old British greenhouses; and the Waterloo International Terminal, whose light curvilinear roof continues another 19th-century tradition, that of the great railway structures.

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