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."
Rafael Moneo: The Latest Architecture and News
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
The award is an initiative funded by Jay Pritzker through the Hyatt Foundation, an organization associated with the hotel company of the same name that Jay founded with his brother Donald in 1957. The award was first given in 1979, when the American architect Philip Johnson, was awarded for his iconic works such as the Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Pritzker Prize has been awarded for almost forty straight years without interruption, and there are now 18 countries with at least one winning architect. To date, half of the winners are European; while the Americas, Asia, and Oceania share the other twenty editions. So far, no African architect has been awarded, making it the only continent without a winner.
This issue focuses on the second edition of the annual Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2017, that featured the participation of 140 artists from 20 countries, under the theme Make New History. Guest edited by Sharon Johnson and Mark Lee, Artistic Directors of the Biennial, the first part looks back on the Biennial through a conversation with architectural historian, Michael Hays. The second part introduces built work and projects selected with reference to the exhibition's theme by the guest editors and participating architects.
Next month, American architect Denise Scott Brown will receive the 2018 Soane Medal, an award given to "architects who have made a major contribution to their field, through their built work, through education, history and theory." A powerhouse jury that included Sir David Chipperfield, Paul Goldberger, Farshid Moussavi, Alice Rawsthorn, Oliver Wainwright selected Scott Brown for the second edition of the award. The 2017 Soane Medal was given to Rafael Moneo.
Sir David Chipperfield, Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum, said: ‘The jury considered many outstanding candidates; however Denise Scott Brown stood apart and was the jury’s unanimous choice. Scott Brown’s contribution across architecture, urbanism, theory and education over the last fifty years has been profound and far-reaching. Her example has been an inspiration to many, and we are delighted to honour her with the awarding of the Soane Medal.’
When Spanish architect Rafael Moneo won the Pritzker Prize in 1996, the jury identified his ability to see buildings as lasting built entities—their lives extending beyond architectural drawings—as integral to his success. The South Souks, Moneo’s 2009 project in Beirut, Lebanon, indeed responds to a long history and anticipates a lasting future. After the city’s historic souq (outdoor marketplace) was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War, developer Solidere began rebuilding the commercial area in 1991. As part of the project, Moneo designed an arcaded shopping district that follows the ancient Hellenistic grid and retains original street names.
Spanish architect Rafael Moneo has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture by the Japan Art Association (JAA). Known for his timeless, stately designs, the 1996 Pritzker Prize laureate was lauded by the JAA jury for his design approach which “[ensures] that his buildings blend effortlessly into the city landscape while at the same time respecting the environment and establishing a clear identity and a connection to his creative vision.”
Spanish Architect Rafael Moneo has been selected as the recipient of the first-ever Soane Medal for contribution to architecture, presented by Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. As the medal winner, Moneo will be the first speaker to take part in the Soane Annual Lecture, established to “ [recognize] architects, artists, writers and others whose work has broadened and enriched understandings of architecture and the built environment.”
“We are delighted to announce this new Soane Annual Lecture and Medal, and look forward to the significant voices and ideas it will bring to the museum,” Sir David Chipperfield, Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum said. “Our aim is to promote architectural culture, as Soane himself worked so tirelessly to do, and we hope it will become an important event in the London calendar.’
Bruce Boucher, Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum, added: ‘We are pleased to inaugurate the Soane Annual Lecture and Medal, and honoured that Rafael Moneo will be the first recipient. His buildings, writings, and teaching have immeasurably enriched the field of architecture, and his lecture promises to be a significant contribution to the contemporary discussion.”
Learn more about the award below.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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!