Renowned Spanish architect Rafael Moneo has been awarded the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation in Monticello. The University does not award honorary degrees therefore its medals are considered the institution’s highest honour.
Also receiving medals are George Mitchell, former US senator and statesman who brokered a peace accord in Northern Ireland, and Jessica Tuchman Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The medals are awarded to those seen to be bettering the world in endeavours also pursued by Thomas Jefferson and will be officially given on 13th April, 2012.
José Rafael Moneo Vallés received his degree from the School of Architecture in Madrid in 1961 and worked under the guidance of Jørn Utzon before opening his own practice and forming some of the architecture world’s greatest treasures. Noted works include the Atocha Railway Station in Madrid, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Roman Art in Mérida.
Dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, Kim Tanzer, said of Moneo: “His ongoing life’s work continues to inspire architects around the world. Rafael Moneo’s clear, persistent architectural vision – respectful of historic contexts, yet utterly of the present – first came to the attention of the international community as an antidote to the excess of post-modern historicism…He went on to provide leadership for several generations of architects and academics, grounding their studies in a thoughtful and poetic material sensibility.”