AIA Gold Medal 2001


Michael Graves

One of the profession’s longest-established awards – the medal that the American Institute of Architects has bestowed since 1907 – has fallen upon a veteran architect. Michael Graves participated with Meier, Eisenman, Hejduk, and Gwathmey in the 1969 exhibition of the Five, where the projects were a retake of the language of the first moderns. But ten years later he formed a language of his own that was quite removed from that abstract purism. Using an eclectic repertoire of forms taken from classical antiquity and American tradition, Graves became a leading representative of postmodernism with works like the municipal building in Portland, Oregon or the Humana headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. He was also a charismatic professor at Princeton and a designer of refined everyday objects, but a central part of his career has been linked to Disney, for which he built the Swan and Dolphin hotels in Florida and, more recently, the post office of Celebration. A hotel in Fukuoka, the American embassy in Seoul, the north campus of Rice University, and the Olympic Village of Athens 2004 are among his latest projects.

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