Translation from English

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rafael Vinoly-- One Busy Architect

While looking at articles about Rafael Vinoly, I realized that this Uruguayan born architect has really been one busy guy, with a lot of projects not just in New York but all over...

There is an interview with him from 2011 which people don't like because they say it is so BORING, so I just decided to give you the Wikipedia entry on him..

At the end I talk a little about some of the controversy about his "death ray" buildings.

Rafael Viñoly

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Rafael Viñoly
Rafael Vinoly.png
Rafael Viñoly
Born 1944
Montevideo, Uruguay
Awards International Fellow, The Royal Institute of British Architects (2007), Medal of Honor, American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter (1995), National Academician, The National Academy (1994)

Practice Rafael Viñoly Architects PC
Buildings Brooklyn Children's Museum, Tokyo International Forum, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Farm Research Campus, Bronx County Hall of Justice, Carrasco International Airport

Interior of Tokyo International Forum

David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh
Rafael Viñoly (born 1944) is an Uruguayan architect living in the United States.[1]


Life and career

Viñoly was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to Román Viñoly Barreto, (a film and theater director) and Maria Beceiro (a mathematics teacher). He grew up and was educated in Argentina. He attended the University of Buenos Aires, receiving a Diploma in Architecture in 1968 and a Master of Architecture from the School of Architecture and Urbanism in 1969.

In 1964, he formed the "Manteola-Petchersky-Sanchez Gomez-Santos-Solsona-Viñoly" Estudio de Arquitectura (architectural firm) with six associates. This practice would eventually become one of the largest architectural practices in South America, completing many significant commissions in a very short time.

In 1978 Viñoly and his family relocated to the United States. For a brief period he served as a guest lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, settling permanently in New York City in 1979. He founded the firm Rafael Viñoly Architects PC in 1983. His first major project in New York was the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which was completed in 1988. In 1989, he won an international competition to design the Tokyo International Forum. Completed in 1996, many people consider this building to be the most important cultural complex in Japan. His firm's design was one of the finalists in the World Trade Center design competition (see THINK Team).

During the course of his forty-plus year career, Viñoly has practiced in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. His firm has realized unprecedented growth over the past few years, expanding to include affiliate offices in London and Los Angeles as well as site offices around the world, including the newest in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Bahrain.

Viñoly is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a member of the Japan Institute of Architects as well as the Sociedad Central de Arquitectos.

Honors and awards

  • Design Honor, Salvadori Center, 2007
  • International Fellow, The Royal Institute of British Architects, 2006
  • National Design Award Finalist, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2004
  • Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence: In recognition for his contributions to the Environmental Design Profession and in honor of Modernist architect Richard Neutra, 2000.[2]
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Maryland, 1997
  • Medal of Honor, American Institute of Architects, New York City Chapter, 1995
  • National Academician, The National Academy, 1994
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1993

Design philosophy

“Architecture is a dialogue with the forces of life. As a major form of social intervention, its essential responsibility is to elevate the public realm." In every project, I seek to maximize the opportunity for civic investment with a goal of forming iconic works that fulfill the needs of the client. For me, this makes architecture the most unique form of artistic endeavor.
My design philosophy is rooted in the development of architectural ideas that are powerful, distinctive, and relevant to the specifics of both program and context. This assures that each project receives a unique interpretation rather than a premeditated solution based on a specific architectural vocabulary. I also focus on the integration of structural systems that complement the design idea, ensuring the synthesis of engineering with architectural form.
My longstanding commitment to design excellence, practiced over 45 years, is particularly evident in the success of our firm’s many civic initiatives, which demonstrate our ability to creatively integrate buildings into contextual urban sites and to work within larger master plans. However, our global work spans nearly every architectural typology, each one delivered with equal passion and commitment to purpose.”[citation needed]



Institute for Regeneration Medicine Building, University of California San Francisco

In progress

The Death Ray Buildings...

(Added December 2013)-- there is a huge controversy now about Mr. Vinoly's "small miscalculations" ( his lack of concern about this infuriates some people) where a couple of his buildings focus the sun's rays in such force that they melt cars given the right weather conditions.

The one in London in particular is causing more and more concern as climate change is also affecting Britain. For more about this, look at the December 2013 articles I have on not just Vinoly's but other buildings that have caused problems ( like one with a wind tunnel effect at its base etc).