Renzo Piano has been awarded the highest honor of the Architectural League of New York, the President's Medal. The prize is bestowed annually on individuals in recognition of extraordinary body of work in architecture, urbanism, or design.
From the League's Press Release:
One of the worldʼs most admired and sought-after architects, Renzo Piano and his office, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, have completed projects that range from exquisite buildings for the display of art to corporate headquarters to industrial structures. In New York City alone, Piano and his firm are currently working on two major projects that will transform their neighborhoods: the new Manhattanville campus for Columbia University and the new Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District. The Architectural League organized and presented the first American exhibition of the work of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 1992.
The Presidentʼs Medal exemplifies the Architectural Leagueʼs 130-year history of encouraging and honoring excellence in architecture, urbanism, and design. It is an honor that is awarded by peers from an organization that is independent of any professional or policy agenda. Recent recipients of the Presidentʼs Medal have included Amanda Burden, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Hugh Hardy, Richard Meier, Ada Louise Huxtable, Robert A.M. Stern, Kenneth Frampton, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, and Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
The medal was presented to Renzo Piano by Architectural League President Annabelle Selldorf on April 9, 2013 at a dinner with over 350 guests in Manhattan. Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger; Tom Pritzker, Chairman of the Board of the Art Institute of Chicago and Chairman and President of The Hyatt Foundation; and Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art celebrated Renzo Piano in remarks.
The Architectural League presented the Presidentʼs Medal to Renzo Piano with the following citation:
Renzo Piano pursues architecture as a profoundly humanistic and optimistic undertaking. He understands architecture as both art and science, and the work of the architect as the constant effort to hold in balance a series of inherent dualisms: discipline and freedom, memory and invention, nature and technology. Renzo Piano and the Building Workshop create meaning through the act of making, experimenting continuously with light and materials and structure, guided by a deep awareness that everything crafted by humans is nonetheless embedded in the world of nature. Embracing the full spectrum of human activity, the work of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop ranges from sublime settings for art and music, to buildings that express and support the nobility of scientific inquiry, to places that celebrate and project into the future the historical continuity of societies and cultures.
With deep admiration for this passionate and sustained search and the extraordinary body of work it has produced, the Architectural League awards its 2013 Presidentʼs Medal to Renzo Piano.