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News: Sir Nicholas Grimshaw receives RIBA Gold Medal

British architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has been awarded the 2019 RIBA gold medal.

He received the UK’s highest honour for architecture, which is personally approved by the Queen, for his “exceptional” influence on the industry.

According to Ben Derbyshire, RIBA president, it “extends beyond his work as a practicioner”.

“He is responsible for an extraordinary number of buildings and infrastructure projects of international significance and for the continuous development of an architecture which places technology at the heart of the aesthetic,” said Derbyshire.

“His influence on architecture extends beyond his work as a practitioner. He is an educator, champion for the UK architectural profession and for culture more widely. He is an inspiration to a future generation of architects and his recognition with this Royal Gold Medal is well overdue.”

Sir Grimshaw established his practice in 1980. He is best known for two landmark modernist projects: the International Terminal at London Waterloo station and the Eden Project.

In 1994, his terminal design won the RIBA Building of the Year award, the predecessor of the RIBA Stirling Prize.

In Cornwall, the Eden Project – two biomes, seemingly consisting of bubbles, which house thousands of plant species – turned a redundant china clay pit into a world-renowned ecological centre.

On hearing he would receive the Gold Medal, Sir Grimshaw said he was “thrilled” and “would like to thank those who supported my nomination”.

“My life, and that of the practice, has always been involved in experiment and in ideas, particularly around sustainability,” he said.

“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.”

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