RIBA Gold Medal 2014


Joseph Rykwert

The architecture historian and theorist Joseph Rykwert received the Gold Medal that, since 1848, the Royal Institute of British Architects gives yearly in recognition of the career of professionals who have had a meaningful influence in the promotion of architecture. This year’s decision extended the brief list of historians to whom the RIBA has granted its most important distinction, and which includes also Colin Rowe (1995), John Summerson (1976) and Nikolaus Pevsner (1995). Born in Warsaw in 1926, Rykwert moved to the UK in 1969 and later obtained the American nationality. In the United States he has taught at the universities of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Harvard. His endless list of articles and books includes noteworthy titles like The Idea of a City (1968) – in which he analyzes the Roman city from an anthropological perspective –, On Adam’s House in Paradise (1972) – in which he traces the genealogy of the idea of the primitive hut –, or The First Moderns (1980), an unprejudiced study of 18th century architecture. Rykwert joins architects like Zumthor (2013), Hertzberger (2012) or Chipperfield (2011) on the list of RIBA Gold Medal recipients.

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