Only living architect to have all UK schemes listed wins RIBA Gold Medal

Alexander Road Estate London RIBA website 061017Neave Brown has been named the winner of the RIBA’s 2018 Royal Gold Medal, the only living architect to have had all his UK schemes listed, and perhaps best known for his visionary 1970s Alexandra Road estate near Swiss Cottage built by Camden Council.

RIBA website image

The RIBA writes:

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce Neave Brown will receive the 2018 Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architecture.

Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence ‘either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture’.

Awarded since 1848, past Royal Gold Medallists include Zaha Hadid (2016), Frank Gehry (2000), Norman Foster (1983), Frank Lloyd Wright (1941) and Sir George Gilbert Scott (1859).

Neave Brown, the revered Modernist architect, is perhaps best known for his visionary 1970s Alexandra Road estate near Swiss Cottage built by Camden Council. With its striking stepped concrete terraces and spacious flats, not only does it provide 500 homes but, in Neave’s own words, it’s ‘a piece of city’, containing shops, workshops, a community centre, special needs school, children’s centre, a care home for young people with learning difficulties and a 16,000sq m public park.

Brown believes every home should have its own front door opening directly onto a network of routes and streets that make up a city, as well as its own private external space, open to the sky, in the form of a roof garden or terrace. Each of these qualities was incorporated by Brown at Alexandra Road.

Reacting to the news that he will receive the Royal Gold Medal in recognition for his lifetime’s work, Neave Brown said:  ‘All my work! I got it just by flying blind, I seem to have been flying all my life. The Royal Gold Medal is entirely unexpected and overwhelming. It’s recognition of the significance of my architecture, its quality and its current urgent social relevance. Marvellous!’…

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