The 1947-born Steven Holl was the 2012 recipient of the AIA Gold Medal, the most important award that the American Institute of Architects bestows yearly to distinguish the work of professionals who have had an influence on architectural theory and practice. Referring to the “humanist approach to formal experimentation” of Holl’s buildings, the jury highlighted his balanced way of tackling urban-scale planning in different parts of the world, always with a vocation for research and a sensitivity for material quality and perception, that has served as inspiration for his colleagues. Among the latest works of the New York-based architect are two iconic buildings in China – the Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing and the Vanke Center in Shenzhen –, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Simmons Hall at MIT in Cambridge (Massachusetts), and the Knut Hamsun Center in Norway. Holl is the 68th winner of a medal previously claimed by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, I.M. Pei, Santiago Calatrava, Glenn Murcutt or Fumihiko Maki.