Notes to editors
1. For images or further information contact Lorna Gemmell in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3761 or email@example.com
2. Being awarded an RIBA International Fellowship allows recipients to use the initials Int FRIBA after their name.
3. Herzog & de Meuron will be presented with the Royal Gold Medal at the RIBA on Wednesday 21 February 2007. They will be discussing their work at the Royal Gold Medal Lecture on Thursday 22 February, 6.30pm at the RIBA, hosted by RIBA President Jack Pringle. NB: This event is now sold out.
4. The RIBA Royal Gold Medal, International and Honorary Fellows are managed by the RIBA Trust. The RIBA Trust manages the cultural assets of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the internationally recognised collections of the British Architectural Library. It is the UK's national architecture centre, delivering the RIBA Awards and RIBA Stirling Prize (live on Channel 4); the Royal Gold Medal; International and Honorary Fellowships; Architecture Week (with Arts Council England and the Architecture Centre Network); a full programme of lectures, exhibitions, tours and other events; and an education programme.
5. The Royal Gold Medal for the promotion of architecture was inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1848 and is conferred by the Sovereign annually on a distinguished architect or person "whose work has promoted, either directly or indirectly, the advancement of architecture." Previous winners include: Le Corbusier (1953), Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1925), Frank Gehry (2000), Archigram (2002), Frei Otto (2005) and Toyo Ito (2006).
RIBA INTERNATIONAL FELLOWS 2007 CITATIONS
Odile Decq is a highly talented and much loved Parisian architect, noted both for her visionary work and her contribution to architectural education.
Odile set up in practice with partner Benoît Cornette in 1985. They were architecture's first rock and roll couple (not least for Odile's blue/black hair and post-punk clothes and make-up) but the scheme which first got them talked about was the 1991 Rennes-Montgermont Banque Populaire de l'Ouest. This much rewarded, much publicised building sums up the position of an architecture described as high-tech, but whose spirit conforms to a concept of 'hyper-tension' (between the interior and exterior, between the volumes and the space) - or in Odile's words, their concern was with 'the movement of the body in space, (with) the way it will be lived in and used'. In Venice, she and Benoît were awarded the Lion d'Or at the 1996 Biennial, whose theme was the 'seismographic architecture of society'. Their partnership was tragically ended when Benoît died in a car crash in 1998. The practice she continues to run in both their names is truly international with architects from Italy, Germany, Belgium and Spain, as well as France.
Odile was born in Laval in 1955 and graduated from the Ecole d'Architecture de Paris-La Villette in 1978. In 1979 she obtained a DESS in Urbanisme et Aménagement from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris. She won the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1979 and was made a Membre de l'Académie d'Architecture. She taught at her old school the Paris-La Villette Cole d'Architecture between 1984 and 1986 and at the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture 1993/2002. Odile has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York (2001 and 2003), at the Bartlett in London between 1998 and 2000 and at the TU in Vienna in 1998. In 1992 she was appointed honorary professor at the Université de Montréal. In 1990 she won the 9th International Prize for Architecture. In 2001 she was made Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's highest honours for the arts.
Odile has served as a judge in the 2005 RIBA President's Medals and on the RIBA Honours Committee in 2006, helping to select the Institute's first International Fellows, as well as choosing Toyo Ito as the Royal Gold Medallist.
Her latest projects include: the Fonds Régional d'Art Contemporain in Rennes, France, 2005; Zenith, an 8000 square metre exhibition hall and offices at St Etienne, 2005; A5 Infinite Interior: the design and development of a prototypical apartment for the first Architecture Biennale of China in 2004; a new museum building for the Liaunig Collection in Neuhaus, Austria, 2004; a new headquarters building for OPAC in Bar-le-Duc, 2004,; administrative buildings and a customer care centre for Sollac Atlantic-Dunkerque, 2003; and the competition-winning Museum of Contemporary Art (MACRO) in Rome in 2001.
Jan Gehl, who was born in 1936, is a Danish architect and urban design consultant based in Copenhagen whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life, especially for pedestrians. With Jan's insight, cities that were once car-dominated and hostile have been transformed into inclusive and welcoming environments that are well-used all year round.
Jan first published his influential Life Between Buildings in 1971, in which he advocated a sensible, straightforward approach to improving urban form: systematically measuring urban spaces, making gradual incremental improvements, and then measuring again. The effect of these deceptively simple insights has been radical and has influenced a whole generation of architects and urban designers, as well as politicians and city dwellers.
His work in the city of Copenhagen was key to the decision to award the city the inaugural RIBA City of the Year Award, in the Urbanism Awards. Jan's book Public Spaces, Public Life describes how incremental improvements have transformed Copenhagen over 40 years into a pedestrian-oriented city. Copenhagen's Strøget, a series of narrow streets that thread through the old city and form the longest pedestrian shopping area in the world, is primarily the result of Jan's work.
As a young architect working in the suburbs in the 1960s, Jan married a psychologist and, in his words, "had many discussions about why the human side of architecture was not more carefully looked after by the architects, landscape architects, and planners.....my wife and I set out to study the borderland between sociology, psychology, architecture, and planning."
Jan received a Masters of Architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1960, and practised architecture from 1960 to 1966. In 1966 he also received a research grant from the institution for 'studies of the form and use of public spaces,' and has since been a lecturer and professor there, as well as a visiting professor in Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Norway. He is the founding partner of Gehl Architects - Urban Quality Consultants.
Jan was an inspiring keynote speaker at the RIBA Annual Conference in 2005, when the theme was one dear to his heart: place-making. He participates in and advises on many urban design and public projects around the world. In 2004 he carried out an important study into the quality of the public realm in London, commissioned by Transport for London; and supported the city of Wakefield and the town of Castleford in developing and delivering better public spaces, as part of an initiative known as The Castleford Project; this work will be seen on Channel 4 in 2007 in a series of programmes to be fronted by Kevin McCloud.
Raymond Moriyama is a hero to many Canadians. His stories of being interned during the Second World War because of his Japanese heritage and his rise to become one of Canada's most respected architects continue to inspire. As described by architectural critic Trevor Boddy: "These early challenges gave him a strong character coupled with sensitivity, qualities that have come through in his architecture."
Raymond has applied his extraordinary vision and understanding to numerous projects since founding the firm of Moriyama and Teshima in Toronto in 1958, including the Bata Shoe Museum, the Bank of Montreal Institute for Learning, the Saudi Arabian National Museum, the Ontario Science Centre, the Scarborough Civic Centre, Toronto Reference Library, and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. Such highly visible projects consistently earn praise for their attention to the needs and purposes of the people who use them. He has received numerous honours including the Confederation of Canada Medal, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal, and honorary degrees from ten Canadian universities. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.
Born in Vancouver, Raymond received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and Masters of Architecture degree in Civic and Town Planning from McGill University. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Canadian Institute of Planners, a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Raymond came to the particular attention of the RIBA with the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on which his practice collaborated with Griffiths Rankin Cook. This museum and memorial to the heroes and victims of war won an RIBA International Award in 2006 and was visited by the jury for the inaugural Lubetkin Prize. This wonderful building with its discordant geometry, acute angles and clashing planes represents in its very being the violence and destruction of war. It was clear from the reports from his client that this had been a very special project and that Raymond's vision had played a key part in its success. What was also apparent was the close friendship between Raymond and his collaborator Alex Rankin and the mutual respect they have for one another. In the end the project was a very close challenger indeed for the prize.
In the autumn of 2006 he published In Search of a Soul about the Canadian War Museum, a personal account of the way in which this iconic national monument was conceived and created.
Denise Scott Brown
Denise Scott Brown is an African-born American urban planner, architect, and teacher, known for her contributions to theoretical research and education on the nature of cities. With her husband and collaborator, architect Robert Venturi, she launched a critique of architectural modernism that led to the development of alternative strategies for urban design during the 1960s and 1970s. She was born in Nkana, Zambia, and raised in a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa. She attended the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg from 1948 to 1952, and then studied at the Architectural Association, London, graduating in 1955.
After travelling and working in Italy and England, she went to the United States with her first husband, the late Robert Scott Brown. She received a master of city planning degree in 1960 and a master of architecture degree in 1965 from the University of Pennsylvania. While teaching at the university she met Venturi, and they married in 1967.
Following her graduate study, Denise taught urban planning at various prominent universities, experimenting with interdisciplinary studio courses for architects, social scientists, and urban designers.
While teaching with Venturi at Yale University from 1967 to 1970, she designed the Learning from Las Vegas and Learning from Levittown studio classes. In these innovative collaborative research courses, architects studied problems in the built environment using empirical methods and drawing from media studies, pop art, and social science - thus greatly expanding the scope of architectural design.
The 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas, which Denise co-wrote with Venturi and Steven Izenour, chronicled their findings and stirred controversy in the architecture field by suggesting that 'low art' sources such as supermarket parking lots, the roadside commercial strip, and gambling casino advertising offered valuable lessons in design.
In 1967 Denise joined her husband's architecture firm, and soon after began directing the firm's planning, urban design, and architectural programming work. Among other projects in the 1970s she and her colleagues at Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates pioneered preservation planning for historic districts in Galveston, Texas and Miami Beach, Florida. In the 1980s they developed a plan for downtown Memphis, Tennessee.
In the 1990s Denise was pivotal in preparing the master plan and schematic design for the Denver Civic Center Cultural Complex in Denver, Colorado; preparing campus plans for Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania; and developing architectural requirements for the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of the American Indians. She has lectured widely and received many honorary degrees and awards that recognise her essential contribution to the rich, varied and challenging work of a uniquely creative practice for over four decades.
The influence of Kazuyo Sejima extends beyond her beautifully crafted architecture, to include the unique way in which she has chosen to practice architecture. Rather than establish a single studio that grows in size over time with an increase in the scale of the projects, she runs two separate studios - one where she focuses on smaller, domestic projects and the other (known as SANAA ) where larger international commissions are undertaken in a collaborative partnership with Ryue Nishizawa. The arrangement allows Sejima to maintain an exceptional level of engagement over a wide range of projects from single-family homes through to large-scale university or cultural institutions around the world.
Kazuyo studied architecture at the Japan Women's University and then worked from 1981- 87 with Toyo Ito, winner of the Royal Gold Medal in 2006. She launched her own practice in 1987 and was named Japan's Young Architect of the Year in 1992.
In her domestic architecture, Sejima's work demonstrates the art of crafting small spaces for maximum use and chance encounter. The projects question the very nature of how we live together and the level of exchange people wish to have with one another.
Kazuyo's Small House is a four-story residence for a young couple and their small child on a cramped site in the heart of downtown Tokyo. The clients required a terrace, a living and dining area, a bedroom, and a spare room. In this project, Sejima wanted "to find what could be gained from the small size itself." A floor was dedicated to each required function, and each was designed independently based on programmatic needs, proximity of nearby buildings, and views. The resulting profile is taut, elegant, and somewhat irregular. The building form expands and sways up from a small footprint and then returns almost to footprint size as it tapers to a roof-terrace.
With SANAA, issues of landscape and transparency dominate. In 1999 Sejima and Nishizawa completed the O-Museum for traditional Japanese painting. The site perches on a mountainside in Nagano Prefecture, and contains the ruins of an historic Japanese castle. The design and programme of the museum were devised to harmonise as much as possible with the site while satisfying the programmatic and curatorial needs of the museum.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, northern Japan, is laid out as a 112.5 metre diameter circle with no apparent front entrance. Inner courtyards allow light into the galleries and accommodate exhibits such as Patrick Blanc's Green Bridge. The fully glazed elevations have the capacity to be rendered opaque when exhibitions require it.
Ongoing projects include a New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the Institute of Modern Art-Valencia, Spain; Novartis Campus, Basel, Switzerland; the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland and the Louvre at Lens, France.