Denise Scott Brown in front of the Strip in Las Vegas, 1966
Robert Venturi/Courtesy Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates Denise Scott Brown in front of the Strip in Las Vegas, 1966

The Sir John Soane’s Museum in London has named American architect, planner, and theorist Denise Scott Brown, Hon. FAIA, as the second recipient of its Soane Medal. Established in 2017 and named after the museum's founder late British architect John Soane, the medal is awarded annually to architects who have made "a major contribution to their field, through their built work, ... education, history, and theory," according to the museum's website. "[The medal] continues the mission of the museum’s founder to encourage a better understanding of the central importance of architecture in people’s lives."

Scott Brown will be honored with the medal at an Oct. 17 event in the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery in London—an addition she designed with her husband Robert Venturi, FAIA, in 1991. Since she will not be able to attend the ceremony, the museum will screen an hour-long, pre-recorded lecture by Scott Brown to attendees and display an unseen collection of her photographs. Soane Medal juror and British architect David Chipperfield, Hon. FAIA, will then host a live Q+A session.

"From a very young age I have been attracted by opposites—by what Soane would have seen as mannerisms, or by what you could describe now as complexities and contradictions—by tensions between urban and rural, modern and traditional, western and African, local and the whole world, "Scott Brown said in a release. "These competing tensions have in many ways [fueled] my creativity, and defined my understanding of architecture. For this reason, it gives me very special pleasure to receive this award which comes to you through the benign patronage of John Soane, an architect for whom I have a profound affinity and whose own eye was just as wayward."

"Scott Brown’s contribution across architecture, urbanism, theory, and education over the last [50] years has been profound and far-reaching," Chipperfield said in the same release. "Her example has been an inspiration to many, and we are delighted to [honor] her with the awarding of the Soane Medal."

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the 86-year-old architect is often associated with the Postmodernism movement in architecture. A principal and co-founder of Philadelphia-based architecture firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Scott Brown is best known for her work on the Département de la Haute-Garonne provincial capitol building in Toulouse, France, the Mielparque resort in Kirifuri National Park in Japan, and the 1991 addition to London's National Gallery. She is the co-author of Learning from Las Vegas (MIT Press, 1972), A View from the Campidoglio (Harper & Row, 1984), and Architecture as Signs and Systems for a Mannerist Time (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004).

The 2018 jury comprised museum's director Bruce Boucher; Chipperfield; American architectural critic Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA; Owen Hopkins, Soane's senior curator of exhibitions and education; Farshid Moussavi, professor in practice of architecture at Harvard GSD; Eric Parry, principal of Eric Parry Architects; British design critic Alice Rawsthorn; and Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic at The Guardian.

Last year, Pritzker Prize–winning Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, Hon. FAIA, received the inaugural medal. His most notable projects include the National Museum of Art in Mérida, Mexico, Prado Museum's extension in Madrid, and the City Hall in Murcia, Spain.