Nicholas Grimshaw
Rick Roxburgh Nicholas Grimshaw

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded architect Nicholas Grimshaw, Hon. FAIA, the institute's 2019 Royal Gold Medal. The Gold Medal recognizes the lifetime achievement of an individual or individuals "who have had a significant influence 'either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture,' " according to a press release released today. Architect Neave Brown won the 2018 medal.

"His focus is on how the technology of new and, wherever appropriate, old materials can work to make an architecture that engages in size (form and silhouettes), detail (celebrating the maker's mark), energy performance, and long-term capacity for adaptive use," wrote Simon Allford, a director of London firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, in his nomination of Grimshaw. "It is this breadth of interest that has made his work both distinguished and of importance to architectural discourse."

International Terminal Waterloo in London
Jo Reid & John Peck International Terminal Waterloo in London

Grimshaw founded his London-based eponymous firm in 1980, which now has offices across the globe, including U.S. offices in Los Angeles and New York, as well as in Australia, Malaysia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. His firm's work has been recognized with multiple awards, including a 2013 AIA Housing and Urban Development Secretary's Award for Via Verde—The Green Way in New York, the 1994 RIBA Building of the Year for the International Terminal Waterloo in London, and a 2009 AIA Honor Award for Architecture for Horno³ : Museo del Acero in Monterrey, Mexico.

"My life, and that of the practice," Grimshaw said in the press release, "has always been involved in experiment and in ideas, particularly around sustainability; I have always felt we should use the technology of the age we live in for the improvement of mankind."

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Via Verde—The Green Way in New York

Grimshaw is currently the chairman of the board for the firm. In 1995, he became an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects' College of Fellows, and in 2002, was knighted by the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II.

"Nick is a friend and a colleague whose work has had a great impact in defining the post-war era of British architecture, and his influence on the international architectural community is undeniable," wrote Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, founder of London firm Foster + Partners, in support of Grimshaw's nomination for the medal. "His architectural outlook is very much based in an honesty towards materiality and structure—like me, he believes that every type of building merits the same care in design."