Herman Hertzberger, the internationally acclaimed Dutch architect, has been named as the recipient of the 2012 Royal Gold Medal.
Established in 1848, the award is given annually to a person or group of people whose influence on architecture has had a truly international effect. Over the years it has been awarded to architects of the calibre of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Kenzo Tange, Ove Arup, Nikolaus Pevsner, Louis Kahn, James Stirling, Berthold Lubetkin, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, Toyo Ito, Frei Otto, Herzog & de Meuron, Alvaro Siza and Ieoh Ming Pei and David Chipperfield.
Born in 1932, in Amsterdam, Hertzberger has combined his work as a lecturer at Delft University of Technology (1970-1999) with that of an architect. His work has ranged from residential to cultural, passing through the tertiary sector, urban landscape and shopping centres. His celebrated works include the Montessori School in Delft (1966), the offices of the Centraal Beheer in Appeldorn (1972), the Vredenburg Music Centre in Utrecht (1978) and more recently, the Chassé theatre in Breda (1995), the Markant theatre in Uden (1996) and the Media Park Forum in Cologne (2004).
The Honours Committee, chaired by RIBA president Angela Brady with David Adjaye, Yvonne Farrell, Niall McLaughlin, Sarah Wigglesworth and Terence Conran commended Hertzberger “because he has transformed the way we think about architecture, both as architects and people who use buildings.” and “for his humanity that has shone through in his schools, homes, theatres and workplaces throughout his career.”.