Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has been named as the 2019 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal, the UK's highest honor for architecture. Given in recognition of a lifetime's work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence 'either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture.'
"I am thrilled to hear about the Gold Medal and would like to thank those who supported my nomination," Grimshaw stated. "My life, and that of the practice, has always been involved in experiment and in ideas, particularly around sustainability; I have always felt we should use the technology of the age we live in for the improvement of mankind. I would like to thank everyone who has ever worked in the office for contributing to our bank of ideas, and for helping to make it an enjoyable and humanistic place."
Playing a leading role in British architecture for more than half a century, Nicholas Grimshaw is arguably best-known for the landmark International Terminal at London's Waterloo station and the visionary Eden Project in Cornwall.
Linked by their scale and complexity, these two buildings illustrate Grimshaw's extraordinary innovative approach to architecture and his modernist signature. Built within a superstructure of glass and steel, the International Terminal won the RIBA Building of the Year Award (the precursor to the RIBA Stirling Prize) in 1994 and is applauded as an exemplar of British transport architecture. The bubble-like biome structures of the Eden Project transformed a redundant clay pit into a world-renowned ecological centre and quickly became one of the UK's most popular visitor attractions.
Nicholas Grimshaw established his own practice in 1980 and over the decades since, he and his team have created an impressive portfolio of built projects all around the world. From a suite of factories for Herman Miller, to innovative apartments in Regent's Park and Camden Town, from a Spa in historic Bath to the Ludwig Erhard Haus in Berlin. Today, his firm employs over 600 staff with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Sydney.
Photo: Rick Roxburgh