As Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, architecture is the will of the times translated into space, and although we live in a world apparently very different from German architect one, this quote accompanies each of the new architectural projects that are born today, as it will also accompany those to come.  

For some people speaking about architecture means speaking about   art, about unusual creations that reflect in a space the emotions of an architectural artist. For others, architecture is something less transcendental, it is thought of and made tangible with a specific objective: to be a space to live in. 

What we want to discover here is not only architecture, it is the best architecture in the world. To do this, we focus on the best international architecture awards, where impressive projects show the world how architects create spaces that improve our lives.

The most International architecture awards 2021

Pritzker Award

We are in front of the one considered for many “Nobel Prize of Architecture”. The Pritzker Prize is one of the most important architecture awards and with which we open the list. 

It was born in Chicago in 1979 thanks to the Pritzker family (Jay and Cindy Pritzker) through the Hyat Foundation. Its purpose was to give architects a significant award that would encourage and inspire them contributing to its professional recognition.

The Pritzker Prize is awarded each year to a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates the union of talent, vision and commitment, producing a significant contribution to humanity and the environment through architecture.

The prize is $100,000 (US) and a bronze medallion and is awarded in a ceremony held in an architecturally outstanding place in the world. 

The most important Architecture Awards

Pritzker Award | | May
2021 winners: Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara

Royal Gold Medal

The Royal Gold Medal is part of this list of the most important architecture awards because of the great prestige that surrounds it. This architecture award is given annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) representing the British monarchy.

Royal Gold Medal is a recognition of an individual or collective architect’s contribution to international architecture and more than a single building or project, it rewards a set of works.

The first time this prize was awarded was in 1848 to the architect Charles Robert Cockerell. One of his most emblematic works is the main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

RIBA Royal Gold Medal

Royal Gold Medal | | 2022
Ganador 2021: Sir David Adjaye

AIA Gold Medal

Another of the most important architecture awards is the AIA (American Institute of Architects) gold medal. This is an annual award given to an architect or two architects (living or deceased) whose work has had a theoretical and practical influence on global architecture.

The jury evaluates candidates according to the criteria specified in their program, including their contributions in specific areas of expertise or for becoming widely known within their profession for the quality of their work.

The AIA was founded in 1857 in Washington and is the most important professional organization in the United States. The Gold Medal was first awarded in 1907 to British architect Aston Webb.

AIA gold Metal The most important Architecture Awards

AIA Gold Metal | | January
2020 winner: Marlon Blackwell

Mies van der Rohe Award or European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture

The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture awarded by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation and Creative Europe, also called the Mies van der Rohe Award until 1998, is the most important architecture prize in the European Union.

In this Architecture award, held biennially since 1988, two different prizes are awarded in each edition: the Emerging Architecture Prize and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

Since 2001, the European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation have been jointly organizing this biennial award. The prize was created in Barcelona in 1988 by the foundation and aims to recognize architectural excellence in Europe from a conceptual, social, cultural and technical perspective.

One of its maxims is to raise awareness of quality architecture and its contribution to the welfare of citizens and the sustainable development of cities and towns in Europe.

The last edition was held in 2019 and the next edition, to be held in 2021, has been postponed to 2022 due to the health crisis experienced.

The most important Architecture Awards

Europe Architecture Award | | 2022
2019 winners: Lacaton y Vassal Architectes

Aga Khan Architecture Award, AKAA

A great architecture award that we can not leave out of this list because of its importance is the Aga Khan Award of Architecture, which unlike other awards, it is not only for architects, but also people or groups that have played a characteristic role in the projects such as municipalities, builders, works, engineers …

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was founded in 1977 by Aga Khan IV and is intended to reward architectural projects of Islamic societies that meet specific needs of their community. In this way, architectural projects that did not previously have such an impact worldwide are now showed. Some of the most important points that are taken into account in the architectural projects awarded with the Aga Khan of Architecture are the promotion of the conservation of the area, the presentation of a contemporary design, the facility of the development of the Muslim community and the minimum impact on the environment.

It is awarded every three years and the prizes have a total value of $1 million. Its last edition was in 2019.

The most important Architecture Awards

Aga Khan of Architecture | | 2022
2019 winners

The list of awards in architecture and design could be endless, but we have undoubtedly compiled the most outstanding ones, both by date of creation, by prestige or by their contribution to society.

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