UIA Gold Medal 2008


Teodoro González de León

Since 1984 and every three years, the UIA (International Union of Architects) awards its Gold Medal to one architect, highlighting a lifetime of work devoted to architecture conceived as a social and artistic tool. In the 23rd UIA Congress, held in Turin, the medal was awarded to the Mexican Teodoro González de León, with the following motivation: “His architecture is monumental, in the positive sense of the word, and the intelligent use he makes of materials, of light and different textures confer on his realizations a particular presence, imposing in the urban as well as in the natural context”. Born in Mexico in 1926, he studied at the National School of Architecture between 1942 and 1947, year in which he moved to Paris to work in the atelier of Le Corbusier. In 1950 he returned to Mexico, setting up his practice there. His oeuvre is clearly rooted in the Modern Movement, and has transformed itself by enriching and reinterpreting its expressive vocabulary. Works like the Higher School of Music in Mexico City (1994), the Mexican Embassy in Berlin (1999) or the UNAM Museum of Contemporary Art (2008) are good examples of this. 

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