Over the last couple of years, the Royal Institute of British Architects have awarded their top prize, the Royal Gold Medal, to a few of the biggest names in the business, with wins by David Chipperfield this year, and I.M. Pei the year before. For 2012, they’ve headed in perhaps a lesser known direction, awarding the lifetime achievement prize to Dutch architect Herman Hertzberger. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then it’s likely that you don’t live in the Netherlands, where he’s been a prolific architect since the 1960s, really hitting his stride in landing commissions on multiple projects in the 2000s (we highly recommend spending the next few minutes scrolling through his work on his site, even though it’s in Dutch and you might not quite understand it all). He’ll be receiving the award in February, when the medal itself is handed to him by the Queen herself. Here’s a bit from the RIBA’s President, Angela Brady:
Herman Hertzberger has transformed the way we think about architecture, both as architects and people who use buildings. His architecture is about form and space which he defines as “place which has not been appropriated”. Throughout his career his humanity has shone through in his schools, homes, theatres and workplaces. The RIBA is delighted to recognise the importance of his achievements and the effect his designs have on people and place.