The UIA Robert Matthew Prize for Sustainable & Humane Environments

Named after Past President of the UIA Robert Matthew and attributed since 1978, the Robert Matthew Prize embodies the goals of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).  

Sir Robert Hogg Matthew was born on December 12, 1906, in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He attended the Edinburgh College of Art and joined the Department of Health for Scotland in 1936, as assistant to architect John Wilson who he replaced as Chief Architect and Planning Officer in 1945. After World War II, he started designing kits for prefabricated houses in compliance with the recommendations of the 1944 UK government report “Planning our New Homes”.

After moving to London in 1946, Matthew became Chief Architect and Planning Officer to the London County Council and worked on the post-war reconstruction of Greater London. In 1956, he established his own firm RMJM in partnership with Stirrat Johnson Marshall. in Edinburgh and London. In 1953, he returned to Edinburgh to become the first Professor of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, where he established the new Department of Architecture in collaboration with RMJM. He continued as Professor there until 1968. 

Matthew was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1952 and knighted in 1962, before being elected President of the Commonwealth Association of Architects and President of the International Union of Architects.


Winners of the Prize (1979 – 2021) 

1978 – John F.C. Turner (UK)
1981 – Hassan Fathy (Egypte); Mentions Rod Hackney (UK) & Hardt Walther Hamer (RFA)
1984 – Charles Correa (India)
1987 – Reconstruction programme for Housing in Mexico City (Mexico)
1990 – Singapore Architecture Department housing & development board (Singapore)
1993 – Laurie Baker (UK)
1996 – Giancarlo De Carlo (Italy) & Martin Treberspurg (Austria)
1999 – Justin Kilcullen (Ireland); Mention: Hong Kong Office of Development, Construction and Housing
2002 – Jaime Lerner (Brazil); Mention: Kooperation GdW-BDA-DST (Germany)
2005 – Stefan Forster, (Germany), Xiaodong Wang, (China), prix ex-aequo
2008 – Mention: Government of Catalonia
2011 – not awarded
2014 – Seoul Metropolitan Government (Korea)
2017 – Carin Smuts (South Africa)
2021– Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso)