1974 - Powell & Moya

Churchill Gardens, Pimlico, London

Designer: Powell & Moya
Copyright: Henk Snoek/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1962)

Philip Powell, British (1921-2003) and Hildago Moya (1920-1994)

Powell & Moya were the first group to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal, after the rules were amended in 1966 to allow practices to become eligible to receive it.


Powell & Moya was founded in 1946, primarily to carry out the Pimlico Housing Scheme. The two founders of the practice Philip Powell and Hildago Moya, studied at the Architectural Association in London and worked for Frederick Gibberd before setting up on their own. Originally there was a third partner, Michael Powell, brother to Philip, who left the practice in 1950 and who died in 1971. In 1961, the partnership was extended to two more partners, Robert Hanley (who died in 1973) and Peter Skinner.


As Churchill Gardens, Pimlico was not completed until 1962, so other projects came to fruition between the founding of the practice and this date.
The Royal Gold Medal was 'awarded for work of high merit that ... promoted the advancement of architecture'.


Skylon and the Dome of Discovery at night

Designer: Tubbs, Ralph (1912-1996); Freeman Fox & Partners; Powell & Moya
Copyright: John Maltby/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1951)

Powell & Moya were responsible for the Skylon (1951) at the Festival of Britain; housing in Chichester (1951) and Gospel Oak, London (1953); Swindon Hospital (1951); Mayfield Comprehensive School, Putney (1956); and Fairmile Hospital, Berkshire (1957).


The style of Powell & Moya has been described as a 'gradual process of simplification'. Certainly, this can be seen in Chichester Festival Theatre (1962), another example of their work where the performance area has an apron stage, with the audience sitting on three sides – so as to see more of the action.