Italian architect Renzo Piano gets lifetime achievement award

Renzo Piano, the acclaimed Italian architect, received a Lifetime Achievement Award on 18 June during a digital marathon by Rome’s MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts.

The accolade, part of the Italian Architecture Award 2020, was organised by MAXXI and Triennale Milano, with the patronage of Italy’s culture ministry.

The award was presented virtually to Piano by MAXXI president Giovanna Melandri, as the MAXXI celebrated its tenth anniversary in Rome with a ten-hour online cultural program called A story for the future.

The international jury approved the recipient unanimously, underlining “the professional and civil commitment that has marked and continues to mark Piano’s architectural production and his tireless work of promoting the quality and public value of architecture.”

Italian Architecture Award

The Premio Italiano di Architettura, which will take place annually, aims to promote the architectural production of Italian designers or those active in Italy and whose commitment is orientated towards innovation, the quality of the project and the social role of architecture.

In addition to Piano’s Lifetime Achievement Award, there will be awards for best building or project carried out in the last three years, and the best building or project carried out by designers under 40 in the last three years, with the winners to be announced in an award ceremony at MAXXI on 30 June.

Renzo Piano

Born in Genoa in 1937, Piano is best known for his high-tech public spaces, particularly his design (with Richard Rogers) for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1971-77), the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome (1994-2002), and The Shard in London (2000-12).

More recently Piano designed the new bridge for his home town Genoa, free of charge, to replace the Morandi bridge which collapsed on 14 August 2018 leading to the deaths of 43 people.

Considered Italy’s greatest living architect, Piano was named a senator for life in 2013 by then Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, giving him the right to vote in the parliament’s upper house.