Stefano Boeri has been awarded one of the highest honors available in Spain’s architectural community after being named the winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Madrid Design Festival, an event now in its sixth year.
The noted architect of Milan’s Bosco Verticale and other similar biophilic designs in Europe and Asia. Boeri was presented with the award by his close colleague Rafael Moneo, a man he, in turn, praised as being a “great and sophisticated protagonist of contemporary architecture.”
"I am both excited and embarrassed to receive this award today,” he began in an acceptance speech from the nstitución Libre de Enseñanza (or ILE). “First of all because, like all awards to an individual, there is always a reason for injustice in the exclusion of all those who deserve with me to share it, having shared years and years of projects, ideas and experiences with me. I actually feel like a good editor-in-chief, capable perhaps above all of choosing the people who work with me well and putting them in the best conditions to express their incredible talent. Perhaps it is true that paradoxically the best form of selfishness is generosity. The second reason for my emotion is to receive this award, for which I thank the Madrid Design Festival and its team, from the hands of Rafael Moneo.”
Boeri continued, “I started my life as an architect precisely by meeting Rafael Moneo here in Madrid in 1982, sent by Vittorio Gregotti, director of Casabella, to meet the protagonist of the extraordinary filming knows - after decades of Francoism - of Spanish architecture. From Italy they looked to Madrid, to the projects and theories of Rafael Moneo, to the 50 ideas contained in Eduardo Mangada's plan with great attention and even envy."
"I will never forget the kindness with which I was received by Rafael and his lucid analysis of the Italian architectural situation which he obviously knew very well. And he knew the competition between the Roman and Milanese schools of architecture, not all that different from the one then underway between the Madrid of Moneo and the nascent Barcelona of Bohigas, two cities that became capitals of global architecture. Just as I don't forget the subsequent meetings at Harvard and his extraordinary lectures in Milan and at the Triennale. Rafael Moneo and his works have been a cultural and ethical beacon for architects of my generation. Today I feel a bit as if a Real Madrid reserve were rewarded by Di Stefano, or by Pelé. So thanks again," he concluded.
View the full awards presentation in the video below.
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