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 2002

From among the numerous and prestigious architects nominated, the jury concluded that Renzo Piano and his work correspond perfectly to the criteria laid out for the attribution of this honorary distinction. He has made an exceptional contribution to architecture's influence around the world, and through the quality of his work has rendered services that greatly surpass the framework of the profession and participate in the harmonious development of society by satisfying both the material and spiritual needs of mankind.

His work is both personal and varied; it illustrates his sensitivity to cultural diversity and his intimate knowledge of the milieu of which it is part. His realisations reflect the orientations developed by the International Union of Architects in their global dimension and their respect for cultural identities. Renzo Piano's work associates advanced technological research with the lessons of traditional economy. It provides a top quality architectural response to evolving social needs. In this way, his work is particularly representative of the role of the architect and the contribution he can make to the sustainable development of our planet.
For all these reasons, the International Union of Architects is proud to honour Renzo Piano this year, for his personal qualities and the works he has accomplished.