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Paulo Mendes Da Rocha awarded RIBA Royal Gold Medal for architectural influence

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has presented Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha with the 2017 Royal Gold Medal for architecture.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”.

Da Rocha is famous for his numerous cultural buildings in Brazil, particulalry in Sao Paulo. Built in his trademark Brazilian Brutalist style with exposed concrete structures and rough finishes, these include the Athletic Club of São Paulo, the Brazilian Sculpture Museum MuBE (1988), Patriach Plaza (1992-2002), the Pinacoteca do Estado gallery (1993) and the FIESP Cultural Center (1997).

He also designed the Serra Dourada football stadium in Goiás (1973), the Cais das Artes arts centre in Vitória (2008) and Portugal’s National Coach Museum (Lisbon, 2015).

“Paulo Mendes da Rocha’s work is highly unusual in comparison to the majority of the world’s most celebrated architects,” said RIBA president and chair of the selection committee Jane Duncan.

“He is an architect with an incredible international reputation, yet almost all his masterpieces are built exclusively in his home country. Revolutionary and transformative, Mendes da Rocha’s work typifies the architecture of 1950s Brazil – raw, and beautifully crafted concrete. He is a world-class architect and a true living legend.”

On receiving the award, da Rocha said: “After so many years of work, it is a great joy to receive this recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects for the contribution my lifetime of work and experiments have given to the progress of architecture and society.

“I would like to send my warmest wishes to all those who share my passion, in particular British architects, and share this moment with all the architects and engineers that have collaborated on my projects.”

The architect has previously been honoured with the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2000), Pritzker Prize (2006), the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for lifetime achievement (2016) and the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award (2016).

Previous RIBA Gold Medalists include Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and Sir George Gilbert Scott (1859). Oscar Niemeyer (1998) is the only other Brazilian architect to have received the honour.

Paulo Mendes Da Rocha  RIBA  Royal Gold Medal  architecture  design  Brazil 
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The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has presented Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha with the 2017 Royal Gold Medal for architecture. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence “either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture”. Da Rocha is famous for his numerous cultural buildings in Brazil, particulalry
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Paulo Mendes Da Rocha was celebrated for his lifetime's work / Morley von Sternberg
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