Jorge Silvetti Wins 2018 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion

Jorge Silvetti. All images courtesy AIA.

Jorge Silvetti, architect and the Nelson Robinson, Jr. Professor of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, has been named the winner of the 2018 Topaz Medallion for excellence in architecture education by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). An educator with Harvard since 1975, Silvetti co-founded the Boston-based practice Machado Silvetti with Rodolfo Machado in 1974.

“His emphasis on design as a form of research, coupled with his expansion of the field of architecture to include other design practices, had a profound effect on the discipline at large—an influence that can still be felt today,” Mónica Ponce de León, dean and professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, wrote in a letter nominating Silvetti for the medal.

Machado Silvetti’s design of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Image courtesy AIA.

Machado Silvetti’s design of the Global Center at New York University. Image courtesy AIA.

Notable projects executed by Machado Silvetti include structures for universities from Dartmouth to Princeton to Arizona State. Machado Silvetti has also overseen designs for the American University in Beirut and the Vietnamese and German University in Vietnam. The firm has received the First Award in Architecture from the American University of Arts and Letters in 1991, in addition to numerous accolades and citations from AIA. Since 1986, Silvetti has overseen research programs including an examination of Sicily’s urbanism and architecture that earned him a Progressive Architecture award. He is a recipient of the Rome Prize, and has served as Pritzker Architecture Prize juror since 1996. Silvetti also acted as a juror for the former Mies van der Rohe Prize for Latin American Architecture in 2000.

“This is not a stylization of architecture that is visually and immediately identifiable, but a way of thinking about history, precedent, and the contextual complexities of architectural production that has inspired generations of architects and educators such as myself,” wrote Christian Dagg, AIA, head of the Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, in a letter nominating Silvetti for the medal.