Rafael Viñoly

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Rafael Viñoly Beceiro
Rafael Vinoly.png
Rafael Viñoly
Born1944 (age 76–77)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Alma materUniversity of Buenos Aires
AwardsInternational Fellow, The Royal Institute of British Architects (2007), Medal of Honor, American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter (1995), National Academician, The National Academy (1994)
PracticeRafael Viñoly Architects PC
BuildingsBrooklyn Children's Museum
Tokyo International Forum
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus
Bronx County Hall of Justice
Carrasco International Airport
432 Park Avenue
20 Fenchurch Street
NEMA (Chicago)
Interior of Tokyo International Forum
David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh

Rafael Viñoly Beceiro (born 1944) is a Uruguayan architect.[1] He is the principal of Rafael Viñoly Architects, which he founded in 1983, and has offices in New York City, Palo Alto, London, Manchester, Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Viñoly was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to Román Viñoly Barreto (a film and theater director) and Maria Beceiro (a mathematics teacher). He attended the University of Buenos Aires, receiving a Diploma in Architecture in 1968 and a Master of Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urbanism in 1969.

In 1964, he formed the "Estudio de Arquitectura Manteola-Petchersky-Sánchez Gómez-Santos-Solsona-Viñoly" architectural firm with six associates. This practice would eventually become one of the largest architectural practices in South America, completing many significant commissions in a very short time.

In 1978, Viñoly and his family relocated to the United States. For a brief period he served as a guest lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, settling permanently in New York City in 1979. He founded the firm Rafael Viñoly Architects PC in 1983. His first major project in New York was the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which was completed in 1988. In 1989, he won an international competition to design the Tokyo International Forum, which was completed in 1996. His firm's design was one of the finalists in the World Trade Center design competition.[3]

During the course of his forty-plus year career, Viñoly has practiced in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.[4]

Viñoly is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a member of the Japan Institute of Architects as well as the Sociedad Central de Arquitectos.[5]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Design Honor, Salvadori Center, 2007
  • International Fellow, The Royal Institute of British Architects, 2006
  • National Design Award Finalist, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2004
  • Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence: In recognition for his contributions to the Environmental Design Profession and in honor of Modernist architect Richard Neutra, 2000.[6]
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Maryland, 1997
  • Medal of Honor, American Institute of Architects, New York City Chapter, 1995
  • National Academician, The National Academy, 1994
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1993[7]


Major works by Viñoly include 432 Park Avenue, 20 Fenchurch Street and the Curve Theatre.


Carbuncle Cup[edit]

The building 20 Fenchurch Street in London won the 2015 Carbuncle Cup for its ugliness.[8]

Sun Glare[edit]

The Sky Garden, at 20 Fenchurch Street

Two of the skyscrapers designed by Viñoly, the Vdara in Las Vegas and 20 Fenchurch Street in London, have experienced sun reflectivity problems due to their concave curved glass exteriors acting as respectively cylindrical and spherical reflectors for sunlight. In 2010, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that sunlight reflecting off the Vdara's south-facing tower could make swimmers in the hotel pool uncomfortably warm, as well as melt plastic cups and shopping bags; employees of the hotel referred to the phenomenon as the "Vdara death ray".[9] In London during the summer of 2013, sunlight reflecting off 20 Fenchurch Street melted parts on a parked automobile and also scorched the carpet of a nearby barber shop.[10]



  1. ^ Gitschier, J. (2011). "The Connection between Space and Thinking: An Interview with Rafael Viñoly". PLOS Genetics. 7 (12): e1002445. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002445. PMC 3248556. PMID 22242010.
  2. ^ "Rafael Vinoly Architects Locations". Vinoly Architects. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Works". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  4. ^ Raphael Vinoly Architects. "Life getting hot for architect Rafael Vinoly". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ e-architect (8 January 2015). "Rafael Vinoly Architect : Practice Information". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Rafael Viñoly Architects. "Architonic". Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  8. ^ BBC News: London's Walkie Talkie judged UK's worst building
  9. ^ "Vdara visitor: 'Death ray' scorched hair".
  10. ^ "'Death Ray II'? London Building Reportedly Roasts Cars".


  • Hilary Lewis and Roman Viñoly, THINK NEW YORK A Ground Zero Diary ISBN 1-920744-74-6
  • Rafael Viñoly, The Making of Public Space: 1997 John Dinkeloo Memorial Lecture ISBN 1-891197-00-2

External links[edit]