The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named Neave Brown recipient of the 2018 Gold Medal.
A pioneer in social housing known for his Modernist multifamily residential projects in the UK, Brown was born in Utica, New York, in 1929 and educated in the U.S. before going on to study at the Architectural Association in London.
One of his most iconic designs, the Alexandra Road Estate, was built in 1978. The high-density building reaches just eight stories, but contains 520 units its within stepped concrete terraces. “He showed how to achieve successful high-density housing without high rise,” RIBA president Ben Derbyshire, who chaired the selection committee, said in a statement.
“His pioneering ideas firmly placed the community at the heart of each of his developments,” Derbyshire continued, “giving residents shared gardens, their own front door, innovative flexible living spaces and private outside space for every home.”
Brown called the Gold Medal “entirely unexpected and overwhelming. It’s recognition of the significance of my architecture, its quality and its current urgent social relevance. Marvelous!”
As the UK’s highest honor for architects, the Gold Medal recognizes Brown’s lifetime of accomplishments in the profession. Past recipients include Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), and Frank Lloyd Wright (1941).
The 88-year-old architect will be presented with the award at a private ceremony on October 2, 2017.
RIBA has also announced its 2018 International Fellowships, which will go to:
- Jeanne Gang, founder of Chicago-based Studio Gang
- John Lin of 2013 Design Vanguard firm Rural Urban Framework in Taiwan/China
- Farrokh Derakhshani from the AGA KHAN Award for Architecture
- Spanish architect Antonio Gonzalez-Capitel
- Andreas Heller of Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers in Germany
- Chilean architect Sebastian Irarrazaval of Sebastian Irarrazaval Arquitectos
- Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk of Neutelings Riedijk Architects in the Netherlands
- Critic Shane O'Toole of Ireland
- Spanish architect José Maria Sanchez Garcia