Mexican architect Ricardo
Legorreta--who's finishing up the design for the U of C's new
residence halls--has received the 2000 American Institute of
Architects (AIA) Gold Medal. The AIA's highest honor, the Gold
Medal is awarded to "an architect whose significant body of
work has a lasting influence." Legorreta, 68, received the award
at a January 28 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
who've won the medal include Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen,
and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe--all of whom have designed University
buildings. Cesar Pelli, the architect of the new athletics center,
received the award in 1995.
called receiving the AIA Gold Medal the greatest honor of his
professional life. His other awards include Mexico's Premio
Nacional de las Artes and the Gold Medal of the International
Union of Architects.
the award, the AIA noted Legorreta's integration of exterior,
interior, and landscape architecture into a single discipline,
praising his decision "to establish a design style rooted in
Mexico's indigenous architectural traditions." Another characteristic
of Legorreta's 45-year career is his use of color and light.
The U of
C greeted the news with pleasure. "We are delighted and proud,"
said President Hugo Sonnenschein. "As we anticipate breaking
ground for the new residence halls and look forward to experiencing
the impact of his vision on the north campus, the AIA award
has given us an additional cause for celebration."
halls around Regenstein Library are Legorreta's first commission
in a cold, northern climate. He has selected steely-blue, seam-metal
panel for the roofs and ginger brick for the exterior walls--colors
intended to provide a transition from the quads' limestone buildings
to the red brick of nearby residences.--K.S.