AWARD. The Venice Architecture Biennale will reward the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo for his entire career, particularly for the development of numerous buildings around the world. A consecration for this talented octogenarian, internationally recognized.
It is a prize that many architects dream of winning one day. The Venice Biennale announced on April 28 the next winner of the Golden Lion. The Italian foundation’s most prestigious award will be presented to Spanish architect Rafael Moneo for his lifetime achievement at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale, scheduled for May 22.
This architect, teacher, critic and theorist has already received many renowned trophies in his career, such as the Pritzker in 1996, the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) Royal Gold Medal in 2003 or the Praemium Imperiale in 2017.
An international career
“Rafael Moneo has learned more than one architectural lesson from Venice, taking part in the housing project on the island of Giudecca in 1983 and winning the international competition for the new Palazzo del Cinema on the island of Lido in 1991,” Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th Mostra, said in a statement.
The Spanish architect has designed iconic buildings around the world, such as the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), the Los Angeles Cathedral (United States), the Museums of Modern Art and Architecture in Stockholm (Sweden) and the extension of the Prado Museum in Madrid (Spain).
A passage through Harvard
Born in 1937 in Tudela, Spain, he graduated in 1961 from the Escuela Técnica Superior in Madrid. He trained as an architect with Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza in Madrid between 1958 and 1961, then in Hellebaeck, Denmark, with Jørn Utzon until 1962. The following year he received a scholarship to study at the Spanish Academy in Rome.
Two years later, Rafael Moneo opened his own office in the Spanish capital and taught for twenty years at the Escuela Técnica Superior. He was then appointed to the position of Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the American university, renamed Harvard Graduate School of Design, between 1985 and 1990.
His projects soon to be exhibited
“Rafael Moneo has maintained a poetic prowess throughout his long career, reminding us of the powers of architectural form to express, to shape but also to endure over time,” added Hashim Sarkis. “He was also tenaciously committed to architecture as an act of construction.”
To celebrate his works, a selection of his projects will be exhibited in the form of iconic models and photographs in the gardens of the Venice Biennale, from May 22 to November 21, 2021.