French Academy Gold Medal 2003


Santiago Calatrava

The gold medal of the French Academy of Architecture was presented to the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava at the Museum of Popular Traditions and Arts, in Paris. Set up in 1965 and with no established periodicity, this award that distinguishes architectural careers has already fallen, among others, upon the Japanese Kenzo Tange, the British Norman Foster and the Hungarian Imre Makovecz; and in the case of the Spaniard it appraises an oeuvre that brings together architecture, engineering and plastic arts. With an unwavering loyalty toward himself, his concept of building and the symbolic value of form, Calatrava has erected monuments on both sides of the Atlantic: bridges, stations and airports, museums or auditoriums that have become urban landmarks. Significant projects such as the Athens Olympic Complex or the new transportation hub for Ground Zero are among his latest works, which have earned him the medal of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos in Valencia. Precisely in this city he will soon finish the Palace of the Arts, the last building of the City of Arts and Sciences.

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