With the common purpose of acknowledging excellence in the field and promoting quality in the built environment, architectural prizes are having a heyday. In the decade of spectacle culture, architects have had an ever-growing mediatic presence, and numerous awards have been created by foundations and professional associations to fête personalities and specific buildings. Though time is sure to wear out the force of each one, all will remain as registers of professional consensus and shall serve to identify the swayings of our end-of-century debate.

Internationally oriented and not exclusively dedicated to architects, the veteran RIBA Gold Medal – instigated in 1848 – has fallen upon town planners like Raymond Unwin, critics like Colin Rowe, and even the city of Barcelona in its latest edition. Twenty years old now and considered architecture’s Nobel, the Pritzker Prize was instituted in 1979 by the owners of the Hyatt hotel chain, and each time awards an important money sum to an individual – a norm that has resulted in honoring Gordon Bunshaft without SOM or Robert Venturi without Denise Scott Brown. A huge financial endowment likewise characterizes the Praemium Imperiale and the Carlsberg; the former has been annually conferred since 1989 by the Japanese Fine Arts Association, and the latter was established in 1992 as a triennial event by the Danish brewery of the same name. Most of the Imperiale awardees are also Pritzker winners, but Tadao Ando is the only one to grace all four lists. Somewhat less attentive to the star system, the UIA Gold Medal has since its birth in 1984 singled out the decidedly contextual careers of a Charles Correa or Ricardo Legorreta.

As opposed to this set of trophies centered on personalities, others choose to focus on built works. The biennial Mies van der Rohe Awards have since 1988 been distinguishing buildings carried out within the European Economic Community, with a Latin American equivalent launched in 1998. Specific constructions are also the target of Spain’s oldest distinctions, the FAD Awards, held yearly since 1958. Then there is the mixed formula of the Spanish Architectural Council and the Antonio Camuñas Foundation, both of which alternately reward consummated careers and works by promising architects, thereby reminding veterans and neophytes alike of the love of risk that lies at the heart of all great architecture. 


Pritzker Prize: Aldo Rossi

Praemium Imperiale: James Stirling

RIBA Gold Medal: Aldo van Eyck

AIA Gold Medal: E. Fay Jones

UIA Gold Medal: Charles Correa

Mies van der Rohe Award: Aeropuerto de Stansted, Londres - (Norman Foster)

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: Oriol Bohigas - Francisco de Asís Cabrero

FAD Awards: Sede del Banco de España, Gerona - (Lluís Clotet & Ignacio Paricio)

Young exhibition of the Camuñas Foundation: Cementerio de Rocas Blancas, Barcelona - (Enric Batlle & Joan Roig)


Pritzker Prize: Robert Venturi

Praemium Imperiale: Gae Aulenti

RIBA Gold Medal: Colin Stansfield Smith

AIA Gold Medal: Charles Moore

Andrea Palladio Award: Vivienda unifamiliar, Santiago de Chile - (Christian Undurraga & Ana Devés)

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: Julio Cano Lasso

FAD Awards: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona - (Arata Isozaki)

Antonio Camuñas Award: Fernando Chueca Goitia


Pritzker Prize: Álvaro Siza

Praemium Imperiale: Frank Gehry

Carlsberg Prize: Tadao Ando

RIBA Gold Medal: Peter Rice

AIA Gold Medal: Benjamin Thompson

Mies van der Rohe Award: Palacio de los Deportes, Badalona - (Esteve Bonell & Francesc Rius)

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: José Antonio Corrales & Ramón Vázquez Molezún

FAD Awards: Centro municipal de Pelota, Barcelona - (Jordi Garcés & Enric Sòria) / Cementerio de Igualada, Barcelona - (Enric Miralles & Carme Pinós)

Young exhibition of the Camuñas Foundation: Fábrica, Oñate, Guipúzcoa - (Beatriz Matos & Alberto M. Castillo)


Pritzker Prize: Fumihiko Maki

Praemium Imperiale: Kenzo Tange

RIBA Gold Medal: Giancarlo de Carlo

AIA Gold Medal: Kevin Roche

UIA Gold Medal: Fumihiko Maki

Andrea Palladio Award: Fábrica, Oñate, Guipúzcoa - (Beatriz Matos & Alberto M. Castillo) / Edificio comercial, Kioto - (David Chipperfield)

Prince of Asturias Prize: Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza

Prize for Spanish Architecture: Estación de Santa Justa, Sevilla - (Antonio Cruz & Antonio Ortiz)

FAD Awards: Viviendas en la Villa Olímpica, Barcelona - (José Antonio M. Lapeña & Elías Torres)

Antonio Camuñas Award: Alejandro de la Sota


Pritzker Prize: Christian de Portzamparc

Praemium Imperiale: Charles Correa

RIBA Gold Medal: Michael & Patty Hopkins

AIA Gold Medal: Norman Foster

Gish Award: Frank Gehry

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: Miguel Fisac

FAD Awards: Casa de la Caridad, Barcelona - (Helio Piñón & Albert Viaplana)

Young exhibition of the Camuñas Foundation: Sede del Patronato de Doñana, Huelva - (Moure, Pascual & Salva)


Pritzker Prize: Tadao Ando

Praemium Imperiale: Renzo Piano

Carlsberg Prize: Juha Leiviskä

RIBA Gold Medal: Colin Rowe

AIA Gold Medal: César Pelli

Mies van der Rohe Award: Estación de Waterloo, Londres - (Nicholas Grimshaw)

Prize for Spanish Architecture: Escuela hogar, Morella, Castellón - (Enric Miralles & Carme Pinós)

Manuel de la Dehesa Award: Illa Diagonal, Barcelona - (Rafael Moneo & Manuel de Solà-Morales)

FAD Awards: Illa Diagonal, Barcelona - (Rafael Moneo & Manuel de Solà-Morales) / Escuela, Vilassar de Mar, Tarragona- (Manuel Brullet & Alfonso De Luna)

Antonio Camuñas Award: Rafael de La Hoz


Pritzker Prize: Rafael Moneo

Praemium Imperiale: Tadao Ando

RIBA Gold Medal: Harry Seidler

UIA Gold Medal: Rafael Moneo

French Academy Medal: Rafael Moneo

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: Joaquín Vaquero Palacios

FAD Awards: Restauración del Metropol, Tarragona - (Josep Llinás)

Iberfad Award: Casa de la cultura, Ciempozuelos, Madrid - (Carlos Puente)

Young exhibition of the Camuñas Foundation: Módulos socioculturales, Ayamonte, Huelva - (Francisco Javier López & Ramón Pico)


Pritzker Prize: Sverre Fehn

Praemium Imperiale: Richard Meier

RIBA Gold Medal: Tadao Ando

AIA Gold Medal: Richard Meier

Mies van der Rohe Award: Gran Biblioteca de Francia, París - (Dominique Perrault)

Prize for Spanish Architecture: Museo de Bellas Artes, La Coruña - (Manuel Gallego)

Manuel de la Dehesa Award: Jardines de Bonaval, Santiago - (Álvaro Siza & Isabel Aguirre)

FAD Awards: Escuela Riumar, Delta del Ebro, Tarragona - (Manuel Ruisánchez & Xavier Vendrell)

Iberfad Award: Recinto ferial, Zamora - (María Fraile & Javier Revillo)

Antonio Camuñas Award: Miguel Fisac


Pritzker Prize: Renzo Piano

Praemium Imperiale: Álvaro Siza

Carlsberg Prize: Peter Zumthor

RIBA Gold Medal: Óscar Niemeyer

The Latin American Mies Prize for Architecture: Edificio para Televisa, México DF - (Enrique Norten & Bernardo G. Pimienta)

Spanish Gold Medal for Architecture: Fernando Chueca Goitia

FAD Awards: Casa Jordi Cantarell, Púbol, Gerona - (Lluís Jubert & Eugènia Santacana)

Iberfad Award: Iglesia parroquial, Marco de Canavezes - (Álvaro Siza) - Muestra joven de la Fundación Camuñas / Oficinas de la Diputación, Alicante - (Javier García Solera & Alfredo Payá)


Pritzker Prize: Norman Foster

Praemium Imperiale: Fumihiko Maki

RIBA Gold Medal: Barcelona

AIA Gold Medal: Frank Gehry

UIA Gold Medal: Ricardo Legorreta

Mies van der Rohe Award: Kunsthaus, Bregenz - (Peter Zumthor)

Prince of Asturias Prize: Santiago Calatrava

Prize for Spanish Architecture: Facultad de CC. de la Salud, La Coruña - (Manuel de las Casas) / Estación de autobuses, Córdoba - (César Portela)

Manuel de la Dehesa Award: Biblioteca municipal, Tarrasa, Barcelona - (Josep Llinás)

FAD Awards: Viviendas protegidas, Gerona - (Arcadi Pla) / Conjunto residencial, Alcoy, Alicante - (Manuel de Solà-Morales)

Antonio Camuñas Award: Luis Peña Ganchegui

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