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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.

LINKS


The University of Chicago
New residence halls Web site

     - Overview
     - Architectural drawings
     - Floor plans
     - Project team information

Other architects 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.

Legorreta 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.

In announcing 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."

The residence 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.


  APRIL 2000
  > > Volume 92, Number 4


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