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Rafael Moneo named architecture laureate for the 2017 Praemium Imperiale

Rafael Moneo, Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, has been honored with the 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture, a premier international award given annually by the Japan Art Association. Moneo is one of five winners of this year's Praemium Imperiale, which recognizes individuals in fields not currently recognized by the Nobel Prize: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theater or film.

“Spanish architect Rafael Moneo is greatly admired for his design approach, which involves looking at the specific conditions of each location to ensure that his buildings blend effortlessly into the city landscape while at the same time respecting the environment, and establishing a clear identity and a connection to his creative vision,” note the prize organizers.

Inside Moneo's Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain (1999)
Inside Moneo's Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium in San Sebastián, Spain (1999)

Moneo has been recognized as one of the leading architects of the modern era. He previously won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996, the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2003, and Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 2012, among others. His projects include the Bankinter Building in Madrid, the Museum of Roman Art in Mérida, the L'Illa building in Barcelona, the Pilar and Joan Miró Museum in Palma de Mallorca, the Kursaal Auditorium and Congess Center in San Sebastián, the extension of the Prado Museum in Madrid, as well as the Davis Art Museum at Wellesley College, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

At the GSD, Moneo is the School's first Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture, and previously was chair of the Department of Architecture from 1985 until 1990. He currently teaches the lecture courses On Contemporary Architecture and Design Theories in Architecture. Before joining the GSD, Moneo was a fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome and taught in Barcelona and Madrid. His scholarly work includes numerous articles and lectures published throughout the world.

Rafael Moneo's Murcia Town Hall (1991-98), photo by Chen Hao
Rafael Moneo's Murcia Town Hall (1991-98), photo by Chen Hao