gold medal

Médaille d'or


This unique distinction, international and free from any governmental or private interest, is the highest recognition the UIA can give, the highest distinction an architect can receive from his/her peers. It is awarded to a living architect as a tribute to his/her achievements and the contributions made throughout his/her life and career to mankind, society, and the promotion of the art of architecture.


The UIA Gold Medal is awarded every three years and its winner honoured during an official ceremony at the UIA world congress of architecture. In creating this distinction in 1984, the UIA Council hoped to invest it with the same prestige as the Nobel Prize in the areas of art, science, and peace.


The UIA Member Sections and Council members can submit a single candidate to each session to select a UIA Gold Medallist. The candidate can be from their own organisation or another UIA Member Section.

Gold medal 2011

The 2011 UIA Gold Medal was awarded to Àlvaro Siza Vieira, Portugal, proposed by the RIBA.

Àlvaro Siza defies categorisation. Each building is different yet is recognisable. His architecture cannot be duplicated but is a model for young architects. He has never succumbed to facility or fashion. As “the architect“ of the last quarter of the 20th century his work continues into the 21st, constantly pushing forward the level of the challenges facing the profession.