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Spotlight: Rafael Moneo

06:00 - 9 May, 2017
Spotlight: Rafael Moneo, National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a>
National Museum of Roman Art. Image © Flickr user pictfactory licensed under CC BY 2.0

As the first ever Spanish architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, Rafael Moneo (born 9 May 1937) is known for his highly contextual buildings which nonetheless remain committed to modernist stylings. His designs are regularly credited as achieving the elusive quality of "timelessness"; as critic Robert Campbell wrote in his essay about Moneo for the Pritzker Prize, "a Moneo building creates an awareness of time by remembering its antecedents. It then layers this memory against its mission in the contemporary world."

National Museum of Roman Art. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user pictfactory</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> Columbia University Northwest Corner Building / Rafael Moneo, Davis Brody Bond, and Moneo Brock Studio. Image © Michael Moran Studio Puig Tower / Rafael Moneo + Antonio Puig, Josep Riu GCA Architects + Lucho Marcial. Image © Rafael Vargas Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles. Image © <a href=''>Flickr user cwsteeds</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> +11

Rafael Moneo Reveals Design of His First Condo Tower in Miami

12:05 - 14 April, 2016
Rafael Moneo Reveals Design of His First Condo Tower in Miami, Courtesy of Apeiron Miami
Courtesy of Apeiron Miami

Rafael Moneo has unveiled the design of his first Miami project, a luxury high-rise at the north end of the city. Known as Apeiron at The Jockey Club, or simply Apeiron, the condo project features a pair of towers to be completed in separate stages and will include 240 serviced residential units, a 90-key boutique hotel, a deep-water marina, health and wellness facilities, and outdoor pools. With Apeiron, The Jockey Club hopes to hearken back to its 1970s heydey, when it was a center of Miami’s vibrant social and nightlife scenes. Apeiron, a Greek work meaning ‘limitless’, is at 11111 Biscayne Boulevard, a location with expansive views of the water and surrounding landscape.

Rafael Moneo and Eva Franch i Gilabert Among Seven Jurors Announced for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize

15:30 - 21 January, 2016
Rafael Moneo and Eva Franch i Gilabert Among Seven Jurors Announced for the 2016 Wheelwright Prize, The Graduate School of Design. Image Courtesy of Harvard GSD
The Graduate School of Design. Image Courtesy of Harvard GSD

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) have announced Mohsen Mostafavi, Eva Franch i Gilabert, K. Michael Hays, Jeannie Kim, Benjamin Prosky, Rafael Moneo, and Kiel Moe as the jurors of the 2016 Wheelwright Prize. The award, "an open, international competition for early-career architects that supports travel-based research with a $100,000 grant," was relaunched as an international competition in 2012 and is now open to all graduates of professionally accredited programs within the last fifteen years. Last year's winner was Erik l'Heureaux for his proposal to study the extreme climatic conditions of equatorial zones.

CEMEX Announces Winners of the XXIV Building Awards

23:30 - 5 November, 2015
CEMEX Announces Winners of the XXIV Building Awards

CEMEX has announced both the international and national winners of its XXIV Building Awards during a ceremony held in Mexico City. A total of 637 projects competed in the National Edition across 13 categories, while 36 projects competing across five categories participated in the international awards.

This year’s Building Awards honor the best architecture and construction projects built during 2014 that use concrete technologies in creative and innovative ways with a focus on sustainability and social well-being.

In addition to honoring the best projects each year, CEMEX also recognizes an architect or engineer “whose contributions in the world of construction have been valuable and left great lessons to society” through the Lorenzo H. Zambrano Lifetime Achievement Award. This year Rafael Moneo was selected as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for “his invaluable architectural expressions and his contribution to education and construction both in Spain and abroad.”

View the 2015 Building Award Winners after the break. 

The Apple and the Leaf: On How in Architecture There Are No Indisputable Truths

10:00 - 2 October, 2015
The Apple and the Leaf: On How in Architecture There Are No Indisputable Truths, Villa Além / Valerio Olgiati. Image © Archive Olgiati
Villa Além / Valerio Olgiati. Image © Archive Olgiati

For many centuries, the demands of gravity appeared to give architecture one requirement that was largely unquestionable: that structures must rise vertically. However, with the advent of steel it was revealed that this limit had not been provided by gravity but by our own limited technologies. In this text, originally published by Domus Magazine in Italian and shared with ArchDaily by the author, Alberto Campo Baeza reflects on the architectural freedom offered by steel structures and the arbitrariness they bring to architectural space.

Isaac Newton was resting under an apple-tree in his garden when an apple fell on his head. Being endowed with such a privileged head and thoughts faster than lightning, he rose forthwith from his afternoon nap and set about calculating the acceleration of gravity.

Had Sir Isaac Newton had a little more patience and had he taken his time in getting to his feet, he might have noticed how, following the apple, a few leaves also fell from that same apple-tree, and while they fell, they did so in quite a different manner to the apple.

"I am writing this text in honor of the architect Valerio Olgiati, after seeing his very beautiful house in Portugal". Image © Archive Olgiati Leutschenbach School / Christian Kerez. Image Courtesy of Christian Kerez Rufo House / Alberto Campo Baeza. "But I, who have always defended orthogonal structures, also argue that structures do not always necessarily have to be orthogonal". Image © Javier Callejas Apartment Building on Forsterstrasse / Christian Kerez. From the architect's description: "The concrete wall slices are placed one above the other, suspended under each other or cantilevered. They form the loadbearing structure... their structurally essential organization remains hidden behind the appearance of a free, open-ended design". Image © Walter Mair +6

Video: Enter the Ethereal Spaces of Los Angeles' Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

16:00 - 12 September, 2015

A soaring contemporary space for the divine, The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels opened to the public in 2002. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, the Roman Catholic cathedral is a monument to the successes of postmodernism deep in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The cathedral features modernist decoration, from angular wooden pews to steel chandeliers complete with blown glass orbs, and can host up to 3,000 visitors in its sunlight spaces with ample outdoor space in the adjacent gardens and plaza.

Law May Render Architects Unnecessary in Spain

00:00 - 18 June, 2013
Law May Render Architects Unnecessary in Spain, Courtesy of NoalaLSP, via Plataforma Arquitectura
Courtesy of NoalaLSP, via Plataforma Arquitectura

As if architects in Spain weren't struggling enough - what with the Crisis closing half the country's studios and putting over 25% of Spanish architects out of work - a new law could now render Spanish architects effectively unnecessary.

A preliminary document reveals that, if passed, The Law of Professional Services (LSP) will modify labor regulations in order to allow engineers, or really any one "competent" in construction, to take on the work of architects: 

“Exclusivity is eliminated. Architects or engineers with competency in construction will be able to design and direct projects, including residential, cultural, academic or religious buildings. [...] If a professional is competent enough to execute one building’s construction, it is understood that he/she will also be capable of executing other kinds of buildings, regardless of its intended use.”

Unsurprisingly, Spanish architects have risen up against the law, mobilizing both physical protests as well as social media campaigns. Even Pritzker-Prize winner Rafael Moneo has offered his opinion on the matter...Hear what Moneo has to say, after the break...

Architecture City Guide: Beirut

00:00 - 9 May, 2013
Architecture City Guide: Beirut, © Flickr User Omar Chatriwala
© Flickr User Omar Chatriwala

Following a brutal 15-year civil war that tore the city apart, Beirut has recovered remarkably; it was voted the number one destination to visit by the New York Times in 2009, and, more recently, received a similar title by Frommer's. The city is in the second phase of one of the biggest urban reconstruction projects in the world, run by Solidere, which has brought architects like Steven Holl, Herzog & DeMeuron, Zaha Hadid, Vincent James, and Rafael Moneo to the local scene. In less internationalized parts of the city sit the landmarks of the 1960s and 1970s, Beirut's pre-war glory days, including buildings by names such as Alvar Aalto, Victor Gruen, and the Swiss Addor & Julliard. With a city growing as fast as Beirut it is impossible to have a final city guide, so we look forward to hearing your suggestions and building on this over the years.

Photos and a map of Beirut's most exciting buildings after the break...

Rafael Moneo receives the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award

15:00 - 9 May, 2012
Rafael Moneo lecturing at Berlin's Instituto Cervantes © lunamtra
Rafael Moneo lecturing at Berlin's Instituto Cervantes © lunamtra

Announced today on his 75th birthday, Spanish Architect Rafael Moneo has been named winner of the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts – an award bestowed to an individual, institution or group of individuals or institutions whose work in Cinematography, Theatre, Dance, Music, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture or any other form of artistic expression constitutes a significant contribution to Mankind’s culture heritage.

As the 32nd laureate, Rafael Moneo is the fifth architect who has received this award, following Oscar Niemeyer in 1989, Santiago Calatrava in 1999, Franciscco Javier Sáenz de Oíza in 1993 and Lord Foster in 2009.

Continue after the break for more.

Architecture City Guide: Barcelona

10:00 - 20 July, 2011
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / SlapBcn. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
Courtesy of Flickr CC License / SlapBcn. Used under Creative Commons

This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Barcelona. We recently featured an engaging video where Wiel Arets half jokingly said Barcelona is fantastic but boring. He continued to say as soon as Sagrada Família is finished Barcelona is done; there is nothing left to do there (10:50). Arets can say what he wants about Barcelona supposedly being boring, but our city guide doesn’t reflect this. Barcelona is filled with fantastically expressive architecture that springs from its proud Catalan culture. It was impossible to feature all our readers suggestions in the first go around, and we did not even come close to including some of the most iconic building such as Casa Milà. Thus we are looking to add to our list of 24 in the near future. Further more there are so many fabulous buildings on the drawing board or under construction, i.e. the projects in the @22 district, we’ll most likely be updating this city guide for quite awhile, regardless of Sagrada Família’s completion.

Take a look at our list with the knowledge it is far complete and add to it in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Barcelona list and corresponding map after the break.

Architecture City Guide: Houston

10:22 - 12 January, 2011

Houston is our focus this week for our Architecture City Guide series.  We know Houston is packed with lots of great architecture so we are expecting to hear about your can’t miss buildings in the comment section below.  Remember this list is intended to be added to by you, our readers.  We will be updating our Architecture City Guides in the future to reflect your suggested buildings to visit.

Follow the break for our Houston list and corresponding map!