2019 Soane Medal to Kenneth Frampton

John Hill
13. September 2019
Photo: Alex Fradkin

The renowned British architect, critic, historian, and longtime professor at Columbia University in New York City has been named the recipient of the third annual Soane Medal, given out by London's Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Created in 2017, the Soane Medal "continues the mission of Sir John Soane to encourage a better understanding of the central importance of architecture in people’s lives" and "recognizes architects, educators and critics who have made a major contribution to their field through practice, history or theory, and in doing so have furthered and enriched the public understanding of architecture." Frampton follows Spanish architect Rafael Moneo from the inaugural year and US architect Denise Scott Brown from 2018.

Frampton is one of the most influential critics and historians from the last 50 years. His Modern Architecture: A Critical History, first released in 1980 and updated three times since, is a standard text in architectural history courses. His essay "Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance," published in the 1983 book The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, is also highly influential; it was "revisited" earlier this year by architects and historians in OASE #103. Another seminal text by Frampton is Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture from 1995.

Frampton, who will turn 90 next year, is Ware Professor at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; he has taught at GSAPP since 1972. In 2018 he received the Golden Lion at the Venice Architecture Biennial, and before that he received the Lisbon Triennale Millennium BCP Lifetime Achivement Award (2013) and the Schelling Architecture Award for Architectural Theory (2012), among other honors.

Kenneth Frampton will give the 2019 Soane Medal Lecture on November 11 at the LSE's Sheikh Zayed Theatre.

The 2019 Soane Medal Jury:

  • Bruce Boucher, Deborah Loeb Brice Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • Sir David Chipperfield, Founder / design principal, David Chipperfield Architects; Former Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • Paul Goldberger, architecture critic; Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; former Architecture Critic, The New Yorker
  • Owen Hopkins, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education, Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • Farshid Moussavi, Principal, Farshid Moussavi Architecture; Professor in Practice of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Eric Parry, Principal, Eric Parry Architects
  • Alice Rawsthorn, design critic and author
  • Oliver Wainwright, Architecture and Design Critic, The Guardian
  • Thomas Weaver, architectural writer, teacher and editor

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