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RIBA Gold Medal Winners

Established in 1848 and given in recognition of a lifetime's work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen and is awarded annually to a person or group of people whose influence on architecture has had a truly international effect. The award is for a body of work, rather than for one building or for an architect who is currently fashionable.

AA Alumni Awarded The RIBA Gold Medal:

Zaha Hadid

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 2015
Graduated AA: 1977
Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, DBE is the first female recipient not only of the Royal Gold Medal but also the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Design Museum Design of the Year Award (Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre). She has also won the Stirling Prize twice (2010 and 2011). Her buildings are distinctively neofuturistic, characterised by the "powerful, curving forms of her elongated structures" with "multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life".

imageZaha Hadid - Heydar Aliyev Center-Baku, Azerbaijan, 2012
Hufton & Crow
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Sir David Chipperfield CBE

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 2011
Graduated AA: 1980
After graduating from the AA, having studied also at Kingston School of Art David Chipperfield worked at the practices of Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. He established David Chipperfield Architects in 1984 and the practice currently has offices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. The practice has won over 50 national and international competitions and many international awards and citations for design excellence. These include the RIBA Stirling Prize 2007 for the Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach am Neckar in Germany; and the rebuilt Neues Museum project in Berlin, in partnership with Julian Harrap, was shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA Stirling Prize. Recently completed projects include the galleries Turner Contemporary, opening in Margate, Kent in April 2011; and The Hepworth Wakefield sculpture gallery in Yorkshire.

imageDavid Chipperfield - River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames
Valerie Bennett
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Edward Cullinnan

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 2008
Graduated AA: 1956
Ted Cullinan set up Edward Cullinan Architects in 1965. Since then Edward Cullinan Architects has been designing carefully composed, sustainable, innovative buildings. The practice operates as a co-operative giving an unusual flexibility to respond to clients' demands and for exploring their interest in changing patterns of use, responding to context, whether urban or rural, and conserving energy. The practice works within commercial, cultural, housing, health, primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors, and in urban regeneration and masterplanning. In 2010 the practice won Public Building Architect of the Year at BD's Architect of the Year Awards. Recently completed buildings include the John Hope Gateway at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and Kew (Herbarium, Library, Art and Archives). Their North East Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre in Newcastle was shown in an exhibition at the V&A in February 2011.

Fountains Abbey Visitors CentreEdward Cullinan Fountains Abbey Visitors Centre Ripon 1993
Peter Willis
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Rem Koolhaas

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 2004
Graduated AA: 1973
An architect as immersed in the idea as in the architecture, Rem Koolhaas's published work has been enormously influential for generations of students and practitioners. He founded Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in 1975, together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp. In 1978 he published Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan; S,M,L,XL (1995) has been called a 'novel about architecture'; and Content appeared in 2004, described by the practice as an 'inventory of seven years of OMA's tireless labour ... dense, cheap, disposable'. Acclaimed projects include the Casa da Música in Porto (2005), the Seattle Central Library (2004) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China (2006). Koolhaas also leads heads AMO, the thinktank within OMA. Among their many awards, Koolhaas and OMA have won the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000); the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2010 Venice Biennale; and the Praemium Imperiale (Japan) in 2003. Koolhaas is a professor at Harvard University where he conducts the Project on the City.

imageRem Koolhaas Grand Palais Lille 1994
Seki Hirano
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Peter Cook (Archigram)

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 2002
Graduated AA: 1960
English architect, lecturer and writer on architectural subjects. He was a founder of Archigram, His achievements with Archigram were recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2002, when the group was awarded the Royal Gold Medal.
Other Archigram members:
Ron Herron (Taught at the AA from 1965 until 1993)
David Greene
Michael Webb
Dennis Crompton
Warren Chalk

imageKunsthaus Graz 2003 (with Colin Fournier)
Peter Jeffree
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Patty and Sir Michael Hopkins

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1994
Graduated AA: 1963
Michael and Patty Hopkins, who both studied at the AA, are only the second couple to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, after Charles and Ray Eames, in whose design footsteps they also followed with their early hi-tech work such as the Willis Faber headquarters in Ipswich (with Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Nick Grimshaw). In their own house in Hampstead too, the Hopkins employed new construction techniques and materials, challenging received wisdom.

Fittingly for leading figures in the introduction of this style of Modern architecture to the UK, they pioneered the use of permanent structures of lightweight fabric. The Mound Stand at Lords cricket ground is probably the most widely known example. Further into their careers their technique broadened to integrate traditional materials with advanced technologies, epitomising their commitment to a vision of progress about continuity rather than fracture with the past.

Inland Revenue NottinghamMichael Hopkins Inland Revenue Nottingham 1995
Gardner Halls
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Sir Richard Rogers

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1985
Graduated AA: 1960
Richard Rogers is probably best known for award-winning projects such as the Pompidou Centre, Paris (with Renzo Piano); London’s Lloyds building and Millennium Dome; and Madrid’s Barajas Airport. He founded the influential practice Team 4 with Su Brumwell and Norman and Wendy Foster in 1963; established the Richard Rogers Partnership with Marco Goldschmied, Mike Davies and John Young (1977); and this became Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners in 2007, with London, Barcelona, Madrid and Tokyo offices. In his later career Rogers has been active in roles addressing the wider issues surrounding architecture, urbanism, sustainability and the city. In the Urban Task Force, set up by invitation from the UK government, a vision for Britain's cities was established, resulting in a white paper, Towards an Urban Renaissance. He served as chair of the Greater London Authority architecture and urbanism panel and as chief advisor on architecture and urbanism under London Mayors Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson. Rogers has also served as an advisor to the mayor of Barcelona on urban strategies. He is a Labour peer in the House of Lords and became Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1996. Among many awards, buildings by his practice have won the Stirling Prize in 2006 and 2009.
See for more on Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

imageRichard Rogers Lloyds London 1986
Philip Keirle
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Sir Philip Dowson

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1981
Graduated AA: 1953
Leading British architect, Dowson contributed to a large number of major projects, including new buildings for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

imageInternational Garden Festival Building, Liverpool 1984
Petra Hagen Hodgson
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Sir Denys Lasdun

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1977
Graduated AA: 1936
Denys Lasdun (1914–2001) left the AA before receiving his diploma to work with Wells Coates, a member of the MARS Group. Two years later, he joined Tecton, the practice of Bernhard Lubetkin. Probably his best-known work is the Grade II-listed National Theatre, on London's South Bank. This is one of the UK’s most notable Brutalist buildings, and one that continues to attract controversy. He also designed the University of East Anglia and two buildings for the University of London: one for School of Oriental and African Studies (1970) and another for the Institute of Education (1970–76) and the Royal College of Physicians’ building in Regent’s Park, London. Keeling House, one of Lasdun’s high-rise ‘cluster blocks’ in Bethnal Green, was sold by Tower Hamlets council and then redeveloped into luxury flats.

National theatre photoDenys Lasdun National Theatre London 1976
Gardner Halls
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Powell & Moya

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1974
Graduated AA: 1943

imageMuseum of London 1977
Andrew Higgott
© Architectural Association Photo Library

John M. Easton

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1955
Graduated AA: 1920
Partner with Easton & Robertson

Sir Howard Robertson

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1949
Graduated AA: 1907
RIBA President, AA Principal. Partner with Easton & Robertson
Sir Howard Morley Robertson (1888–1963), who was principal of the AA from 1920 to 1935, trained in the US and in Paris. In 1919 he formed Easton & Robertson with John Murray Easton, until 1931. He was a member of the 'distinguished committee', with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer among others, which designed the United Nations headquarters (1947), New York, featuring reinforced concrete and glass curtain wall with an aluminium exterior.
The height of Robertson's Upstream Building, (twice as high as the completed building) also known as the Shell Centre (1961), at Waterloo, London caused a planning row and its art deco styling was widely criticised within the profession for its rejection of the modernist design of neighbouring buildings. The earlier Bank of England Printing Works, Loughton, Essex (1956), was better received, as was the Metropolitan Water Board Laboratories, in London (1938), displaying Robertson's admiration for Erich Mendelsohn.

royal horticultural hallEaston & Robertson Royal Horticultural Hall London 1928
FR Yerbury
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Sir Edward Mauf Alum

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1944

imageCathedral-Guildford 1961
Philip Keirle
© Architectural Association Photo Library

Leonard Stokes

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1919

imageChurch of St Clare, Liverpool 1890
John Bradley
© Architectural Association Photo Library

AA Teaching Staff Awarded The RIBA Gold Medal:

Sir John Summerson

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1976
Teaching Staff
Architectural historian

William Curtis Green

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1942
Teaching Staff

Ernest Newton

Awarded RIBA Gold Medal: 1918
Teaching Staff

National theatre photoFlint House, Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire 1913
Stephen Marsden
© Architectural Association Photo Library


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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.