For being “a recognized master in the academic and professional fields” and for the “universal nature” of buildings that, in the words of the jury that included Frank Gehry and Philippe Starck, “enrich urban spaces with a serene and comely architecture”, combining “aesthetics with functionality” and serving “as an impeccable frame for great works of culture and spirit”, Rafael Moneo Vallés was honored with the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. A Navarrese, born in Tudela in 1937, Moneo adds this prestigious international prize to a long list of distinctions received in the course of his career, from the Spanish National Architecture Award in 1991 to the Mies van der Rohe in 2001 and on to the Pritzker in 1996. It was not the first time for an architect to be given this award for the arts. Previous laureates have been Oscar Niemeyer (in 1989), Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza (in 1993), Santiago Calatrava (in 1999) and Norman Foster (in 2009). Competing with the author of the Kursaal in the arts section for 2012 were the Japanese architect Toyo Ito and the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, among others.