January 17, 2013
The Menil Collection in Houston, by Italian architect Renzo Piano has been selected for the prestigious 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Twenty-five Year Award. The neighbourhood museum set a new precedent in museum architecture and confirmed Piano, who designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as one of the world’s most trusted designers of cultural buildings. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building that has stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years.
Projects must demonstrate excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards. The Menil was designed to house the collection of oil heiress and art collector Dominique de Menil, and when completed, just over 25 years ago, was immediately hailed as a triumph.
According to the AIA: “With the Menil, Piano has carried forth the Southern European Renaissance tradition of handcrafted technological humanism into another century, and brought the world a transcendent space for viewing art that places the collection, and its presentation in perfectly realized natural light, above all else.”
The award will be presented this June at the AIA National Convention in Denver.