Dezeen Magazine

Kenneth Frampton to receive Golden Lion at Venice Architecture Biennale

British architect, critic and educator Kenneth Frampton will receive the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award at the Venice Architecture Biennale next month.

Frampton was selected for the award by the curators of this year's Biennale, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Dublin-based Grafton Architects.

Born in London in 1930, Frampton studied at the Architectural Association before going on to work as an architect, architectural historian and critic.

Among his best-known texts are Modern Architecture: A Critical History, Towards a Critical Regionalism and A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form.

His roots in architectural practice makes his writing "more sympathetic and more critical" of the industry he writes about, said Farrell and McNamara.

"Kenneth Frampton occupies a position of extraordinary insight and intelligence combined with a unique sense of integrity," they continued. "He stands out as the voice of truth in the promotion of key values of architecture and its role in society."

"His humanistic philosophy in relation to architecture is embedded in his writing and he has consistently argued for this humanistic component throughout all the various 'movements' and trends often misguided in architecture in the 20th and 21st century," they said.

"His consistent values in relation to the impact of architecture on society, together with his intellectual generosity, position him as a uniquely important presence in the world of architecture."

Frampton is currently professor of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University in New York, where he has taught since 1972.

His influence in architectural education has been wide-reaching. Throughout his career he held numerous teaching positions at prestigious institutions including the Royal College of Art in London and ETH Zurich.

"There is no student of the faculties of architecture who is unfamiliar with his Modern Architecture: A Critical History," said Paolo Baratta, the president of the Venice Biennale.

"The Golden Lion goes this year to a 'maestro', and in this sense it is also intended to be a recognition of the importance of the critical approach to the teaching of architecture," he added.

Frampton will receive the Golden Lion award at Ca' Giustinian, the headquarters of the Biennale in Venice, on 26 May 2018 – the day the event opens to the public.

Past recipients of the award include Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha and architect and philanthropist Phyllis Lambert.

The 16th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale will open on 26 May 2018 and continue until 25 November.

Photograph is by Columbia GSAPP.