David Chipperfield

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Sir David Chipperfield
David Chipperfield.JPG
Born (1953-12-18) 18 December 1953 (age 60)
London, England
Awards RIBA Stirling Prize, Royal Gold Medal, Andrea Palladio Prize, Tessenow Gold Medal
Practice David Chipperfield Architects
Buildings River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames
Projects America's Cup Building, Valencia, Spain

Sir David Alan Chipperfield CBE RA RDI RIBA (born 18 December 1953) is a British architect, born in London. Since the early 2000s, he has won some of Europe's most prestigious commissions.[1] He has offices in London, Berlin and Milan, and a representative office in Shanghai.


Chipperfield studied Architecture at Kingston Polytechnic, graduating in 1976 along with the Architectural Association in London. He worked at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, and in 1984 established his own practice, David Chipperfield Architects.[1] The practice – which has offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai[2] – has over 250 staff from 15 countries, working on a variety of projects in Europe, the United States and China.


Housing building in Madrid (Spain), 2005.

Chipperfield first made his reputation in Japan in the 1980s.[3] Among his early projects in England that revealed his rigorous and elemental approach to design included a shop for Issey Miyake on London's Sloane Street in 1983, and a house for the fashion photographer Nick Knight.[4] Later, Chipperfield designed the award-winning River and Rowing Museum[5] in Henley-on-Thames using green oak cladding, concrete and glass. Chipperfield was the only British architect to be shortlisted for the commission to design Tate Modern.

Since then, Chipperfield has moved on to become one of the commanding figures in the design of cultural and civic buildings across Europe and in the United States.[4] Chipperfield was the architect for the reconstruction of the destroyed Neues Museum in Berlin, which reopened in October 2009. In addition to the Neues Museum, which Chipperfield began working on in the mid-1990s during an initial competition phase, the architect is also designing the master plan for Berlin's entire Museum Island, a Unesco World Heritage site, made up of five museums. A new entrance building, which will act as an addition to the complex, has also been designed by Chipperfield and is expected to be completed in 2013.[2]

Since the 2000s, he has worked extensively in the United States, where in 2005, he completed the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, as well as the Central Public Library in Des Moines, Iowa, commissioned in 2001. Current projects include the Anchorage Museum Expansion in Anchorage, Alaska and four lake side villas at Bom Sucesso Design Resort, Portugal. In 2009, the city of Milan commissioned Chipperfield to transform the Ansaldo, a former neighbourhood steel factory, into the Center for Advanced Studies of Visual Art and a photography museum.[6]

In 2009, the architect caused controversy for imposing restrictions of photographs in one of its buildings, the Des Moines Public Library.[7]

Chipperfield has taught architecture in Europe and the United States, and has lectured extensively on the work of the practice, including as Professor of Architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart from 1995 to 2001.[8] In addition Chipperfield held the Mies van der Rohe Chair at the Escola Tècnica, in Barcelona, Spain, and the Norman R. Foster Professorship of Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture. He is a visiting professor at the University of the Arts London (formerly London Institute). He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Architecture Foundation.

Early in his career, Chipperfield established (in collaboration with Wilfried Wang and Ricky Burdett) an architectural gallery called 9H, named after the hardest kind of pencil, which was created to bring wider attention to what were then obscure European firms, such as Herzog and de Meuron, Álvaro Siza, Rafael Moneo, Luigi Snozzi, and Mario Botta.[3] In 2000, Chipperfield was one of the architects to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale of Architecture. The first British architect in this position, he served as curator of the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.[9]


In 1999, David Chipperfield was awarded the Tessenow Gold Medal, what was followed by a comprehensive exhibition of his work together with the work of the Tessenow Stipendiat and Spanish architect Andrés Jaque, held in the Hellerau Festspielhaus. In 2004 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to architecture, and was made Honorary Member of the Florence Academy of Art and Design in 2003. In March 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Kingston University.[10] In 2009 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.[8] In the New Year Honours 2010, Chipperfield was appointed as a Knight Bachelor for services to architecture in the UK and Germany.[5][11] He was awarded the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2010 and the Royal Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2011.[12] Awarded .

"Form Matters," an exhibition looking back over Chipperfield's career, was mounted by London's Design Museum in 2009. His Tonale range of ceramics for Alessi received the Compassod'Oro in 2011, and the Piana folding chair has recently been acquired for the permanent collection at MoMA.[8]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b Christopher Hall (30 July 2005), A Briton's Vision Takes Hold in the Heartland New York Times.
  2. ^ a b J.S. Marcus (29 October 2009), Of Museums and Cemeteries Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ a b Jonathan Glancey (3 February 2010), David Chipperfield: perfect harmony The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b Jonathan Glancey (7 October 2010), David Chipperfield wins Royal Gold Medal for architecture The Guardian.
  5. ^ a b "Knighthood for museum architect". Henley Standard. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Jackie Cooperman (15 January 2010), Out and About: Via Tortona, Milan New York Times.
  7. ^ Boyer, Bryan (23 October 2009). "No Photos Please". News. Archinect. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c The Board appoints new Directors: David Chipperfield for Architecture and Alberto Barbera for Cinema La Biennale di Venezia, 27 December 2011.
  9. ^ Andrew Gilchrist (10 November 2011), David Chipperfield to curate 2012 Venice Biennale The Guardian.
  10. ^ http://www.kingston.ac.uk/alumni/made-in-kingston/profiles/David-Chipperfield/
  11. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282. p. 1. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  12. ^ "RIBA Gold Medal – 2011 Winner: Award Information". e-architect, UK. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 

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