The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board of Directors has awarded Steven Holl, FAIA with the annual AIA Gold Medal. The Gold Medal represents the highest award an architect may receive, honoring their “humanist approach to formal experimentation.” The world renowned architect and Columbia University professor continues to inspire and influence the practice and theory of architecture.
In a recommendation letter, Harry Cobb, FAIA, of Pei Cobb Freed stated, “What, in my view, especially commends him as a candidate for the Gold Medal is his brilliantly demonstrated capacity to join his refined design sensibility to a rigorously exploratory theoretical project.”
The AIA highlighted two of Holl’s projects – Linked Hybrid in Beijing and Vanke Center in Shenzhen – stating they are “emblematic of his approach to architecture and his innovative method of design inquiry.”
“I am grateful, I am still beginning and I consider this award shared with all my collaborators. I feel this award is a positive advocacy to make theoretical explorations and experimental works. I was on the way to my final review at Columbia University when I received the call from Washington D.C. and felt it connected to my teaching and efforts toward education. I remember John Hejduk’s statement that teaching is a social contract, and I remain committed to teaching.”
- Steven Holl, FAIA
The award will be presented at the AIA Convention in Washington D.C. in May, 2012.
You can watch our interview with Steven Holl and see his projects here.
In recognition of his contributions to architecture in both theory and practice Fumihiko Maki was recently named the 2011 AIA Gold Medal Winner. Maki, arguably one of Japan’s most distinguished living architects, will be honored with the award in New Orleans at the AIA National Convention.
“He has a unique style of Modernism that is infused with an ephemeral quality and elegance which reflects his Japanese origin. What stands out most about Mr. Maki is the consistent quality of his work at the highest caliber and the creation of ineffable atmospheres; his buildings convey a quiet and elegant moment of reflection,” colleague Toshiko Mori, FAIA, said of Maki.
Also noteworthy is Fumihiko Maki’s close working relationship with each employee. Forty architects, urban planners, and administrative personnel, make up the staff of Maki and Associates, which is the type of working environment where each member is involved in and responsible for all aspects of projects. Maki himself is at the head of each commission and maintains the leadership role through to completion, including construction supervision. Established in 1965 Maki and Associates throughout its 42 years has been based in Tokyo, Japan. Maki studied at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art, but has spent the majority of his life in Japan.
Examples of Maki’s work include:
The Spiral in Tokyo, Japan
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California
The Kaze-No-Oka Crematorium in Kyushu, Japan
Triad in Nagano, Japan
The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Maki is the 67th AIA Gold Medalist and joins a prestigious list including Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Renzo Piano, I.M. Pei, Cesar Pelli, Santiago Calatrava and last year’s recipient, Peter Bohlin, FAIA.
He has received numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1993.