Royal Gold Medal

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The Royal Gold Medal for architecture[1] is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual's or group's substantial contribution to international architecture. It is given for a distinguished body of work rather than for one building, and is therefore not awarded for merely being currently fashionable.

The medal was first awarded in 1848 to Charles Robert Cockerell, and its winners include some of the most influential architects of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1864), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941), Le Corbusier (1953), Walter Gropius (1956), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1959) and Buckminster Fuller (1968). Already with the second recipient, the Italian Luigi Canina in 1849, the award went international.

Not all recipients were architects. Also recognised were Engineers like Ove Arup (1966) and Peter Rice (1992) who undoubtedly played an outstanding role in the realisation of some of the 20th century's key buildings all over the world. Repeatedly, the prize was awarded to influential writers on architecture, including scholars like the Rev Robert Willis (1862), Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1967) and Sir John Summerson (1976) as well as theoreticians like Lewis Mumford (1961) and Colin Rowe (1995). It honoured archaeologists like Sir Austen Henry Layard (1868), Karl Richard Lepsius (1869), Melchior de Vogüé (1879), Heinrich Schliemann (1885), Rodolfo Lanciani (1900) and Sir Arthur Evans (1909), and painters like Lord Leighton (1894) and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1906). Another notable exception was the 1999 award to the city of Barcelona.

List of recipients[edit]

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