RIBA Gold Medal 2003


Rafael Moneo

“Being an architect is one of the most attractive ways to be in the world”. The one speaking in such terms is Rafael Moneo, honored by the RIBA with its Royal Medal. At 67, Moneo preserves his passion for architecture and teaching – jobs he has always combined – , aside from a conception of the profession as an intellectual adventure. This cultural rather than technical dimension of Moneo’s work and his role in the theoretical debate has determined his election, though the works built by the Navarrese in recent years have also weighed on the decision. His American adventure – an important chapter being his period as Dean of Architecture at Harvard –includes the completion of Wellesley College, the building for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Cathedral of Los Angeles. In Madrid he has completed the maternity hospital of O’Donnell and is about to conclude the Prado Museum extension, one of the greatest challenges in the career of one who has received the most prestigious prizes, among which the Pritzker, in 1996, and the Mies van der Rohe for the San Sebastián Kursaal in 2001.

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