courtesy Machado Silvetti

Today, the American Institute of Architects and the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture named Jorge Silvetti, Intl. Assoc. AIA, as the 2018 winner of the AIA Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architecture Education, the highest honor given to educators in architecture. The AIA has been granting this award to individuals for their demonstrated dedication to education and influence over students of architecture since 1976.

After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969, Buenos Aires–born Silvetti founded his Boston-based practice Machado Silvetti with Rodolfo Machado, Intl. Assoc. AIA, in 1974. One year later, Silvetti joined the faculty of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, later serving as the chair of the architecture program from 1995-2002. He is currently the Nelson Robinson Jr. Professor of Architecture.

View of the western elevation of the building, where the entrance to the school and a new loading dock are located.
View of the western elevation of the building, where the entrance to the school and a new loading dock are located.

A specialist in architectural history, contemporary theory, and criticism, Silvetti is best known for his groundbreaking 1977 essay “The Beauty of Shadows” in which he provides “a compelling argument for how a profession caught between postmodernism and deconstruction should proceed,” according to an AIA press release. Only three years later, Silvetti and Machado won a 1980 Progressive Architecture (P/A) Award—one of 10 such awards during their firm's history—with their reimagining of the Rhode Island School of Design urban campus, which last year’s Topaz Medallion recipient and 1980 P/A Award jury member Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, called “extremely brilliant.”

In 1986, Silvetti was awarded the Rome Prize, and he has served as a Pritzker Architectural Prize juror since 1996. In 2000, he became a juror for the Mies van Der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture.

Anton Grassl/Esto

Machado Silvetti's recent work includes the Center for Asian Art at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which opened in 2016, and a new welcome center for, and renovation to, the Denver Art Museum, which is currently underway.

The 2018 Topaz Medallion jury comprised: chair Chere R. LeClair, AIA, LeClair Architects in Bozeman, Mont., Montana State University School of Architecture; Keshika De Saram, Assoc. AIA, 2017-18 president of the American Institute of Architecture Students; Donna Kacmar, FAIA, University of Houston, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design; Toshiko Mori, FAIA, New York–based Toshiko Mori Architect; and Nader Tehrani, Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in New York City, NADAAA.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.