Italian architect, philosopher, architectural theorist, visionary and design practitioner, Alessandro Mendini, has been selected to receive the 2014 European Prize for Architecture. Awarded annually by the European Centre for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, the European Prize for Architecture aims to recognize “influential architects that have changed and challenged the direction of contemporary architecture today and who have blazoned a more humane and intellectual approach to architecture.”
“Not since Frank Lloyd Wright has the world seen a more theory-driven and profound-thinking architect than Mendini,” said Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the Museum President of the Chicago Athenaeum, in a press release.
Medini was one of the early members of Studio Alchimia, and later he founded Atelier Mendini with his brother in 1989. His works range from architecture and urban planning to the creation of iconic objects, paintings and installations. Mendini was also heavily involved in architectural theory, making essential contributions to the critical analysis of “postmodern design” and “re-design” since the 1970s.
“Alessandro Mendini,” said Narkiewicz-Laine, “is one of the rare, most iconic architects and architectural minds in the history of art and architecture and clearly within the profound ranks of Leonardo Da Vinci, Palladio, Alberti, and Ledoux. His philosophic thinking is more than original. He has pushed concept beyond the perimeters of the inventive, relentlessly searching, in a most non-compromising way, for the most essential design idea. And the results center on the most visionary and far-reaching of our times. In an era where architectural ideas are copied and duplicated worldwide faster than ‘viral,’ Mendini and his works remain singular, prophetic, and original with the unique finger print of nothing less than a genius architect.”
A formal ceremony will be held in Milan in January. Last year the European Prize for Architecture was awarded to Finnish Architect, Marco Casagrande, and previous award winners have also included Bjarke Ingels in 2010 and Norwegian firm, TYIN tegnestue Architects in 2012.