Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale 2012


Álvaro Siza

The jury of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, composed of Wiel Arets (chairman), Robert Stern, Benedetta Tagliabue, Alan Yentob and Kristin Freiress, conferred the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Álvaro Siza Vieira. The trajectory of this Portuguese architect born in Matosinhos in 1933 is among the most outstanding in the past decades, and the distinctions he has received include the Mies van der Rohe Award (1988) and the Pritzker Prize (1992). David Chipperfield, curator of the 2012 Biennale titled ‘Common Ground’, stated that Siza’s oeuvre is “not the product of a conventional talent but of a mind sophisticatedly exercised by the confidence of knowledge”, and praised how he has produced “at the highest level” without the self-promotion “that has become part of the contemporary architect’s machinery”. Other awardees were the Japanese Pavilion, landing the Golden Lion for Best National Participation; the Tower of David in Caracas by Urban-Think Tank and Justin McGuirk, recipient of the Golden Lion for Best Project; and Grafton Architects, winner of the Silver Lion for a Promising Practice.

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